Five priests or former priests with ties to Michigan dioceses have been charged with 21 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving five separate victims in connection with the Michigan attorney general’s investigation into sexual abuse among clergy in the state.
During a news conference May 24 at the G. Mennen Williams Building near the grounds of the state Capitol in Lansing, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced her office had authorized charges against Timothy Crowley; Fr. Neil Kalina, PIME; Fr. Vincent DeLorenzo; Fr. Patrick Casey; and Fr. Jacob Vellian in connection with the investigation.
Nessel also announced a sixth priest, Fr. Lawrence Ventline, has had his license as a professional educationally limited counselor suspended by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs because of allegations of abuse that occurred outside the statute of limitations.
Three of the priests connected with Friday’s announcement — Fr. Kalina, Fr. Casey and Fr. Ventline — have connections to the Archdiocese of Detroit and had previously been restricted from ministry. Crowley and Fr. DeLorenzo are from the Lansing diocese, and Fr. Vellian worked in the Kalamazoo diocese.
Four of the five men who were charged have been arrested, while Fr. Vellian awaits extradition in India, Nessel said.
During the news conference, Nessel said the arrests were executed in coordination with law enforcement officials in several states, including Arizona, California and Florida, as well as Michigan.
“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,” Nessel said.
The victims — four male and one female — were between the ages of 5 and 26 at the times the alleged abuses took place.
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