5 Michigan priests charged with 21 criminal sexual conduct charges in sex abuse investigation

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Dave Bartkowiak Jr., Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

LANSING, Mich. - In a press conference Friday, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that the investigation into possible sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Michigan led to five priests being charged with 21 charges of criminal sexual conduct.

RELATED: Michigan AG announces 5 Catholic priests charged in sex abuse investigation

"In the last 30 hours, more than a dozen members of our investigative team have been in courtrooms in Washtenaw, Wayne, Genesee, Macomb and Berrien counties while other members of our team have been working with local law enforcement in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan -- all in a carefully executed plan to take these charged defendants off the streets," said Nessel.  “Almost all of these charges came as a direct result of calls to our tip line but were then corroborated by files seized from the dioceses last fall, followed by multiple interviews with victims."

The five victims ranged in age from 5 to 26.

Many of the cases discovered by the attorney general's office couldn't be charged because they were either outside the statute of limitations for the charges, the priest had died or the victims weren't willing to speak.

Nessel said she believes there could be as many as 1,000 victims. 

Vincent DeLorenzo, Lawrence Ventline, Timothy Crowley and Patrick Casey. (WDIV)

Here are the charges:

  • Timothy Michael Crowley, 69, Lansing Diocese, was charged in Washtenaw County with four felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) 1, a maximum sentence of life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring, and four felony counts of CSC 2 – a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Crowley, who was a priest in various parishes, including St. Thomas Rectory in Ann Arbor, was arrested Thursday in Tempe, Arizona. (View complaint and affidavit here)
  • Neil Kalina, 63, Archdiocese of Detroit, was charged in Macomb County with four felony count of CSC 4, a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring. Kalina, who was a priest at St. Kiernan Catholic Church in Shelby Township, was arrested Thursday in Littlerock, California. (View complaint and affidavit here)
  • Vincent DeLorenzo, 80, Lansing Diocese, was charged in Genesee County with three felony counts of CSC 1, a maximum sentence of life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring, and three felony counts of CSC 2, a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. DeLorenzo, who was a priest at Holy Redeemer Church in Burton, was arrested Thursday in Marion County, Florida. (View complaint and affidavit here)
  • Patrick Casey, 55, Archdiocese of Detroit, was charged in Wayne County with one felony count of CSC 3, a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Casey, who was a priest at St. Theodore of Canterbury Parish in Westland, was arrested Thursday in Oak Park, Michigan. (View complaint and affidavit here)
  • Jacob Vellian, 84, Kalamazoo Diocese, was charged with two counts of Rape, a maximum sentence of life in prison. Vellian was a priest at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Benton Harbor, and now lives in Kerala, India. Nessel said they know where Veillian is and they are working to extradite him back to Michigan. (View complaint and affidavit here)

            

Nessel also challenged the dioceses to set up a fund for victims to be administered by the attorney general’s office so that victims can get the help they need to deal with the trauma they experienced.

"These investigations are complex and complicated, but we are committed to uncovering the truth and seeking justice for all the victims,” said Col. Joseph Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “We take all leads and tips seriously, and I encourage anyone with information about these cases to contact law enforcement directly."

Timothy Crowley (WDIV)

Vincent DeLorenzo (WDIV)

Patrick Casey (WDIV)

Lawrence Ventline (WDIV)

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