Priest enters no contest plea
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A 71-year-old Catholic priest in the Saginaw area has pleaded no contest to sexual abuse charges involving three young men.
The Saginaw County prosecutor’s office says Father Robert Deland’s plea to criminal sexual conduct, attempted criminal sexual conduct, gross indecency between males, delivery of an imitation controlled substance and furnishing alcohol to a minor came Tuesday — a day before his trial was set to start.
A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.
Prosecutors say Circuit Court Judge Darnell Jackson indicated Deland would be sentenced to a year in jail and five years’ probation. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw suspended Deland earlier this year.