Former Michigan priest enters guilty plea as part of clergy abuse investigation

Michigan Live/October 9, 2019

By Matt Durr

The first conviction has been made in a statewide clergy abuse investigation which involves several priests scattered across the state. Patrick Casey, 55, faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of aggravated assault in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Casey, a former priest at St. Theodore of Canterbury Parish in Westland, was originally charged with one felony count of third degree CSC, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. However, a plea bargain was made where Casey admitted to the lesser charge.

Casey was arrested and charged in May as part of an operation in which five priests were arrested. Since then, other priests have also been arrested and charged in the investigation.

“For too long, victims of clergy abuse have suffered unimaginable pain – often in silence. Mr. Casey’s decision to plead guilty to aggravated assault ensures that he will be held accountable for the pain and suffering he has caused," said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in a press release. "While this is the first conviction resulting from our investigation, I can assure you it is still only the beginning of an aggressive pursuit of justice for all those who have been victimized by priests or members of the clergy. Our department remains committed to bringing an end to an era of abuse that has hidden in plain sight for far too long.”

Casey is now scheduled for a sentencing hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Nessel’s office also provide a brief update on the statuses of six other priests who have been charged in the investigation as part of the press release:

  • Timothy Crowley – The case was dismissed in Washtenaw County District Court. The Department of Attorney General will be appealing the judge’s decision.
  • Brian Stanley – A preliminary exam was held today in the 57th District Court. Defendant is out on bond with a tether.
  • Joseph Baker – A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 23, in Wayne County Circuit Court. The Defendant is out on bond with a tether.
  • Vincent DeLorenzo – A preliminary exam is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Genesee County District Court. Defendant is out on bond.
  • Neil Kalina – A preliminary exam was adjourned on August 27 in Macomb County District Court. At the court date, the defendant’s attorney requested that his client be evaluated to determine if he is competent to stand trial and if he was criminally liable at the time of the assaults. The defendant remains in Macomb County Jail.
  • Jacob Vellian – Status unchanged.

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