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Priest in abuse case ‘will never be looked at’ the same

September 5, 2018 GMT

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors say a Catholic priest in the Saginaw area will be considered a “sex offender for the remainder” of his life, even if he doesn’t go to prison.

Authorities held a news conference Wednesday, a day after the Rev. Robert DeLand pleaded no contest to criminal sexual conduct and six other charges. He’s expected to serve a year in jail.

Assistant prosecutor Melissa Hoover says being labeled a sex offender is like a “life sentence” for DeLand. She says the priest “will never be looked at in this community the same as he once did.”

The 71-year-old DeLand was known as Father Bob. He was pastor at St. Agnes Church in Freeland. The victims were three males.

A no-contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.