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DeLand

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Diocese of Saginaw is bringing in a retiring Michigan Appeals Court judge to be part of the church’s internal investigations into sexual abuse allegations against several priests.

Michael Talbot announced earlier this year he is retiring as chief judge of Michigan’s Court of Appeals, after four decades on the bench.

Talbot also chaired the Detroit Archdiocese Board of Review, which dealt with Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse.

Christian Cross
Waiting For The Word / Flickr CC /

A Saginaw Township Catholic priest is under investigation for alleged criminal sexual activity. 

Father Robert DeLand Jr. is the pastor of St. Agnes Parish in Freeland and is a judicial vicar with the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.

DeLand was arrested by Tittabawassee Township Police after being under surveillance beginning in November.

The 71-year old priest is accused of a sexual assault from August of last year. DeLand has since been accused of providing alcohol to a minor and purchasing the controlled substance MDMA – or Ecstasy.