AG Nessel says 7 priests were charged in 2019, with more on the way next year


A Catholic Church in Detroit. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • A Catholic Church in Detroit.

As Attorney General Dana Nessel’s team continues its clergy abuse investigation, her office has shared an update.

Seven cases have been charged of abuse so far, and more are on the way in 2020, according to a press release. Two of those priests, Patrick Casey and Brian Stanley, have pleaded guilty.

“Our office has made considerable progress in this investigation,” Nessel said in a press release. “I am extremely proud of the work we have completed so far and am confident our office will continue to investigate these cases as thoroughly as possible to provide justice for victims. We fully expect several more charges will be announced — some as early as January.”

The other five men who have been charged thus far are Joseph Baker, Timothy Crowley, Vincent DeLorenzo, Neil Kalina, and Jacob Vellian. Nessel’s office shared the status of the seven who were charged in the press release:

  • Joseph Baker – Trial begins February 20, 2020 in Wayne County Circuit Court. The Defendant is out on bond with a tether.

  • Patrick Casey – Pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on October 8, 2019. Sentenced November 20, 2019 to 45 days in jail, one year of probation and is required to attend sex offender counseling.

  • Timothy Crowley – The case was dismissed in Washtenaw County District Court. The Department of Attorney General filed an appeal December 10, 2019.

  • Vincent DeLorenzo – This case has been reassigned to Judge Christopher Odette. A preliminary exam is yet to be scheduled in Genesee County District Court. Defendant is out on bond.

  • Neil Kalina – A preliminary exam has now been adjourned until January 28, 2020 at 1:30 PM in Macomb County District Court. Bond was reduced by 50 percent by Judge Douglas Shepherd to $50,000 cash surety or 10 percent, with a tether. The defendant remains in Macomb County Jail.

  • Brian Stanley – Pleaded guilty to one felony count of Attempted False Imprisonment; faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for January 27, 2020.
Jacob Vellian – Status unchanged.

Metro Times detailed their charges in previous reports.

More than 640 tips have been made since the beginning of the investigation. There are 552 victims identified at this time, in three dioceses in Marquette, Gaylord, and Grand Rapids alone. Those victims have identified 270 priests as abusers.

Nessel’s office, which took the investigation over from former Attorney General Bill Schuette, said in the release that there could be thousands of victims by the time the investigation is over.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.