Judge: 2 DeLand cases going to trial - WNEM TV 5

Judge: 2 DeLand cases going to trial

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Robert DeLand (Source: Saginaw County Jail) Robert DeLand (Source: Saginaw County Jail)
SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Two cases accusing Rev. Robert DeLand of sexual misconduct are moving forward.

On April 25, a judge ruled there was enough probable cause for two separate cases involving two different alleged victims to go to trial.

In one case, the prosecution said Deland attempted to sexually assault a then 21-year-old man in the summer of 2017.

The now 22-year-old took to the stand and said he met DeLand at his job. He claimed Deland took an interest in him, even offering to pay for a college course. The alleged victim also said Deland paid a Consumers Energy and cell phone bill in an attempt to help him better his life.

The prosecution claims in August 2017 the accuser went to Deland’s home to celebrate his upcoming birthday.

The alleged victim claims both he and DeLand were drinking tequila, and the alleged victim said he blacked out after three shots.

When the accuser came to, he said he remembered DeLand pulling him close and making out with him, he then blacked out again.

The accuser then testified he came to, and remembers his pants, as well as DeLand’s, were down. When he came to a third time, he was in the bathroom.  That’s when he said he made his way out of the condo and met up with his girlfriend.

He testified he went to the hospital where the defense claims blood tests showed his blood-alcohol content was .257, and he also tested positive for marijuana.

Hospital tests for LCD and PCP came back negative, according to the defense.

DeLand claims he doesn’t remember what happened, but did admit he was drunk. He testified, “I can stand before God and tell him I don’t know."

The defense claims it’s not possible for the accuser to remember the exact details of the night, and wanted the charges dropped.

"His memory of the night is spotty at best," said Alan Crawford, defense attorney.

DeLand is facing a charge of  second-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct, and gross indecency between males.

In the second case, a then 17-year-old claims he met DeLand while doing community service for MIP. DeLand also worked at the teen's school.

The teen said as time went on, he felt he was being harassed by DeLand, and grew concerned. That's when he and his parents went to police.

That's when Tittabawassee Township police asked the teen to go undercover in their investigation against him. 

The teen said while he was working undercover for police, DeLand touched him inappropriately, offered him drugs, and asked him questions about pornography. He also told police DeLand gave him money to buy drugs.

He claims while working undercover, he pretended to take ecstasy while with DeLand at DeLand's home, and faked being under the influence of the drug.

The teen said he laid down in a bedroom at DeLand's home, and DeLand inappropriately touched him. The teen then said he faked receiving a phone call, left the room, and called the police.

DeLand is facing a second-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury charge in that case.

DeLand's attorney called it a clear case of entrapment.

Tittabawassee Township Det. Brian Berg disagreed. He said it was an effort to give DeLand the chance to prove he was a good man, not a criminal.

"I was hoping Father Bob would be exonerated or be cleared of this matter. He's very, very well-liked in our community and by our administrative staff at the township," Berg said.

In all, DeLand faces trial on at least three criminal charges.

"We have three additional preliminary examinations on Friday. Two with one of the victims from today and a third new victim," Gaertner said.

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