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AG: Seven priests charged with abuse in 2019 and more to come

Attorney General Dana Nessel shares an update on the clergy abuse investigation that she took over from former AG Bill Schuette.

LANSING, Mich. — As 2019 comes to an end, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel provides an update to the clergy abuse investigation her office took over from former AG Bill Schuette.

“Our office has made considerable progress in this investigation,” Nessel said. She went on to say in a statement that her office "will continue to investigate these cases as thoroughly as possible to provide justice for victims."

Nessel expects more charges will be announced, some as early as January.

Since the beginning of the investigation, the AG's office says more than 640 tips have been received. Based on reviews of documents at three dioceses to date -- Grand Rapids, Gaylord and Marquette -- the team investigating the clergy abuse has identified 552 victims who named 270 priests as abusers. 

Nessel is estimating that at the end of the investigation there will be thousands of victims.

RELATED: Report: Diocese of Lansing mishandled 1990 sexual abuse case

Here is a breakdown of the current cases being investigated, reviewed or closed:

  • 130 cases are being investigation or reviewed
  • 50 of those cases have been closed based on the Statute of Limitations or the deaths of the priests involved
  • 45 cases are actively being investigation
  • 25 cases have been referred back to the Diocese for other action
  • 7 cases have been charged -- 2 of the 7 priests have already pleaded guilty

The status of the seven priests charged to date in the investigation is as follows:  

  • 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.

Find more information about Nessel's investigation of clergy abuse in Michigan on her office's website. 

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