Former priest, Robert Deland, who was accused of sexually abusing young men will be released on parole.
Two board members of the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) voted in favor of his parole on Dec. 29, 2020. According to MDOC, he will likely be released sometime in April.
Deland was sentenced to 2-15 years and five years’ probation in 2019.
DeLand was once a pastor at St. Agnes Church in Freeland, he also volunteered at Freeland High School. He was arrested in 2018 when three men came forward accusing him of sexual assault and other crimes.
DeLand must register pursuant to the sex offender registration act.
The exact conditions and time of his parole has not been set.
The Diocese of Saginaw issued the following statement:
"We continue to hold in our prayers all victims of sexual assault, especially minors and those who are vulnerable.
On behalf of the Church, we are deeply sorry for wounds that have been inflicted on the faithful and members of the community as a result of this case.
Following the criminal trial against Robert (Fr. Bob) DeLand and in consultation with the independent Diocesan Review Board, Bishop Gruss submitted the case to the Holy See.
Restrictions placed upon Robert DeLand by the Diocese – forbidding him from presenting himself as a priest or exercising public ministry – remain in place permanently.
The Holy See will make a final decision regarding Robert DeLand's priestly status."