SHOCK: 5 Catholic priests arrested for sex abuse spanning decades. Attorney says they were ‘hiding in plain sight’

Michigan’s Attorney General announced Friday that five current and former Catholic priests have been charged for sex misconduct which allegedly occurred as far back as the 1970s.

The Detroit Free Press reported the criminal charges came as part of a statewide investigation into sexual abuse committed by Catholic clergy. Some of the men facing charges, Timothy Michael Crowley, 69, Patrick Casey, 55, Neil Kalina, 63, Vincent DeLorenzo, 80, Jacob Vellian, 84, were apprehended outside of Michigan and have reportedly been defrocked or are in the process of being ousted from the church.

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All but one of the five priests were charged for crimes involving children.

“Unfortunately, those clergy were hiding in plain sight, purporting to comfort their parishioners, hearing their confessions, and taking advantage of their position of faith and authority,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said Friday, according to The Detroit News.

“Today, we begin holding those clergy accountable.”

The allegations and charges are as follows:

Timothy Michael Crowley: Charged with criminal sexual conduct. Formerly a priest at St. Thomas Rectory in Ann Arbor, Crowley allegedly forced a 10-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him and sexually penetrated him. Crowley threatened to kill the boy, who was an altar boy, if he reported the illicit encounters, according to authorities. The Diocese of Lansing said allegations were made against Crowley in 1993.

Patrick Casey: Charged with criminal sexual conduct. Casey was accused of performing sexual acts on a man in his 20s who had sought drug counseling. Authorities referred to a 2013 incident where Crowley allegedly performed oral sex on the man during confession. The Archdiocese of Detroit said they were made aware of the allegations in 2015.

Neil Kalina: Charged with criminal sexual conduct. A priest at St. Kieran Catholic Church in Shelby Township, Kalina allegedly provided a boy between the ages of 12 and 14 cocaine and marijuana on at least four occasions while at Kalina’s home. On at least two of those cases, the boy allegedly woke up to Kalina putting his hands down his pants. The Archdiocese of Detroit said they were alerted to the alleged encounters in 2017.

Vincent DeLorenzo:  Charged with criminal sexual conduct. A priest at Holy Redeemer Church in Burton, DeLorenzo reportedly confessed to sexually abusing an underage boy in the 1980s. The abuse reportedly entailed him digitally penetrating a 13-year-old boy following prayer. He remained on restrictive ministry until the Diocese of Lansing received a complaint regarding him in 2002, according to authorities and diocese officials.

Jacob Vellian: Charged with rape. Vellian, a visiting priest at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Benton Harbor, he’s accused of digitally penetrating a girl younger than 16 in the 1970s. The affidavit details one incident where Vellian allegedly fondled the girl’s breasts and “explained that he was praying for her, and was ‘trying to fill [her] soul with the Holy Spirit.'” The document also claimed he fondled and penetrated the girl’s vagina before she turned 16. The Archdiocese of Detroit said they learned of the allegations in 2016.

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