Health & Spirit

5 Catholic priests charged in Michigan sex abuse investigation

Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Religious News

DETROIT -- As part of her investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Friday criminal sexual conduct charges against five priests in Michigan.

"Some of these clergy ... preyed on young children," Nessel said at a news conference of the five men who were priests at the time of the abuse. She said the five cases were the "tip of the iceberg" as investigators continue to track down hundreds of tips of abuse by Catholic priests.

In some of the incidents, the Catholic priests mixed their sexual activity with references to Catholic beliefs or committed the acts during Catholic rituals such as confession, according to affidavits. In some cases, the priests plied children with drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and alcohol before sexually assaulting them, allege prosecutors and police.

According to Nessel, the five charged are:

-- Timothy Michael Crowley, 69, of the Lansing Diocese. He was charged in Washtenaw County with four felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) in the first degree, and four felony counts of CSC in the second degree. Crowley, who once was a priest at St. Thomas Rectory in Ann Arbor, was arrested Thursday in Tempe, Ariz.

Crowly is accused of fellatio and sexual penetration with a 10-year-old boy, plying him with alcohol and cigarettes. He threatened to kill the boy if he reported the incidents, said the affidavit.


"On multiple occasions, Crowley provided JOHN DOE with cigarettes and alcohol and forced JOHN DOE to watch pornography depicting homosexual sex," read the affidavit. "Crowley would masturbate himself in JOHN DOE's presence."

While serving as an altar boy, the boy would stay the night with Crowley in his bed, according to the affidavit.

-- Neil Kalina, 63, Archdiocese of Detroit. He was charged in Macomb County with one felony count of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree. Kalina, who was a priest at St. Kiernan Catholic Church in Shelby Township, was arrested Thursday in Littlerock, Calif.

On at least four occasions, a boy between the ages of 12 and 14 "spent the night with Kalina in the rectory at St. Kieran's," said the affidavit. "On each occasion, Kalina provided John Doe with cocaine or marijuana, which John Doe ingested."


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