MI AG issues statement on first guilty plea in cleary abuse investigation

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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued a statement following the guilty plea of a priest.

Patrick Casey, 56, one of the first five priests to be charged in Nessel's Clergy Abuse Investigation, plead guilty to aggravated assault Tuesday, according to the Attorney General's office.

In response to the plea, Nessel said:

“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. 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 pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of aggravated assault before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Wanda Evans, according to the AG's office.

He faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail along with a $1,000 fine, the office said.

The office said a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 in the Wayne County Circuit Court.

The office said this is the first conviction in the Nessel's investigation.

The AG's office has provided a status update on each of the remaining charged defendants:
• 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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