A former Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after a Detroit-area jury said it was having trouble reaching a unanimous verdict in his sexual abuse trial.
The Michigan Attorney General's office says Patrick Casey pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated assault. He was accused of engaging in sex acts with a younger man who was struggling with his Catholic faith and homosexuality and had sought Casey's counsel in 2013.
The maximum penalty is a year in jail.
Casey at the time was a priest in Westland. TV station WXYZ reports that a Wayne County jury was deadlocked during deliberations Monday. Casey had been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony.
The Detroit Archdiocese says it learned about the allegations in 2015 and banned Casey from any form of church ministry.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says Casey’s guilty plea 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,” says Nessel, “Our department remains committed to bringing an end to an era of abuse that has hidden in plain sight for far too long.”
Six other cases remain in the courts:
- 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 Tuesday 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.