Federal lawsuit filed against the Rev. Robert DeLand claims he groped teen

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SAGINAW (WJRT) (3/13/2018) - A teenager has filed a federal lawsuit agains a Saginaw-area priest claiming he was sexually assaulted.

The teen, who is named as John Doe in the lawsuit, claims the Rev. Robert DeLand groomed him with gifts and then groped the teenager at the priest's Saginaw Township home.

It was unclear if the teen is involved in the criminal charges that DeLand is facing.

DeLand was in court yesterday, as he is charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of gross indecency between males in Saginaw County.

Police say those crimes happened at the St. Agnes Parish rectory in Freeland, where DeLand was pastor, and at a condominium on Mallard Cove in Saginaw Township that DeLand considers a retirement property.

DeLand, the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw and Bishop Joseph Cistone are all defendants in the civil legal action. The teen is seeking an unspecified monetary judgment.

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