5 former priests charged with sexual misconduct: Just the tip of the iceberg

Calls to a tip line led to the arrests of five former Michigan priests over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Interested in Pope Francis?

Add Pope Francis as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Pope Francis news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Michigan’s attorney general announced the arrests Friday morning and detailed the charges against the men, who previously worked at different dioceses in the state.

Michigan is one of at least 15 states or territories that have an active inquiry into sex abuse by Catholic clergy.

Four of the five men named by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel at a Friday news conference have been arrested.

The fifth is now living in India and Nessel said authorities know where he is and plan to extradite him to the U.S.

Nessel said there were “many other cases” she wanted to prosecute but didn’t because they had reached the statute of limitations, the former priests were deceased or the victims did not want to come forward.

“These were cases that were chargeable cases for us,” Nessel said.

The five cases involved four boys and one girl, who ranged in age from 5 years old to 26 at the time of the alleged abuse.

PHOTO: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announces charges stemming from her offices investigation into clergy sexual abuse in the states Catholic dioceses, during a press conference in Lansing, Mich., May 24, 2019.WXYZ

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announces charges stemming from her office’s investigation into clergy sexual abuse in the state’s Catholic dioceses, during a press conference in Lansing, Mich., May 24, 2019.

Patrick Casey, 55, who faces one felony count of criminal sexual conduct and was arrested in Michigan on Thursday, is accused of “performing oral sex on the victim during confession,” according to Nessel.

Timothy Michael Crowley, 69, faces four felony counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and an additional four felony counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree. He was arrested in Tempe, Arizona, on Thursday.

Vincent DeLorenzo, 80, faces three felony counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and an additional three counts in the second degree. He was arrested Thursday in Marion County, Florida.

Neil Kalina, 63, faces one felony count of criminal sexual contact in the fourth degree and was arrested on Thursday in Littlerock, California.

Jacob Vellian, who is 84 years old and is currently in India, was not arrested. He faces two counts of rape.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg,” Nessel said.

“We estimate we are only 5 or 10% at most through the information that we currently possess,” Nessel said, adding that she has received more than 450 tips through the department’s tip line.

“We anticipate many more charges and arrests as we continue to move forward with our work,” she added.

Investigations are underway in Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Archdiocese of Anchorage in Alaska.

In March, the attorney general of West Virginia filed a civil complaint against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, alleging that the diocese had “engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices by failing to disclose to consumers of its educational and recreational services that it employed priests and laity who have sexually abused children, including an admitted abuser who the Diocese nevertheless allowed to work in a Catholic elementary school.”

Spokespeople for several other state attorneys general told ABC News that their offices were reviewing options and considering taking similar actions.

Leaders from more than 100 countries and regions met in the Vatican in February to discuss the abuse epidemic.