Former Priest Living in Northern Michigan Charged With Sex Crimes in Wayne Co.

The first round of charges have been announced in the Catholic clergy sex abuse investigation in Michigan.

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Friday morning that her office has arrested and charged five priests with 21 sex crimes.

The investigation started back in August following the release of a grand jury report in Pennsylvania.

Since then, more than 400 tips have come in to the attorney general’s office and they’ve taken hundreds of thousands of documents from Michigan’s seven Catholic diocese.

Fr. Patrick Casey now faces one count of 3rd-degree sex crimes in Wayne County. 

The attorney general says the crimes happened back in 2013.

Casey was arrested in Oak Park, but court documents show he lives in Bellaire.

“In this case, some of those clergy who preyed on young children and on vulnerable adults, unfortunately, those clergy were hiding in plain sight, purporting to comfort their parishioners, hearing their concessions and taking advantage of their position of faith and authority,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The affidavit says the alleged victim was 24 when he met Fr. Casey in 2012 for spiritual guidance.

The alleged victim eventually enrolled in classes to become Catholic and continued to meet with Casey.

“These were cases that were chargeable cases for us, but there were many other that we discovered that were either outside the statute of limitation, so we could not charge, or the priests who had committed the abuse were now deceased,” said Nessel.

The affidavit goes on to say the alleged victim and Casey met in January of 2013 for a confession.

The accuser says he told Father Casey he was suicidal and struggling with his sexuality.

The alleged victim says Casey told him he was also gay and then sexually assaulted him.

The alleged victim made a report to the Archdiocese of Detroit, who removed Casey from the priesthood.

Andy Russell is a clergy abuse survivor who spoke at Friday’s news conference.

“50 years old and this happened when I was 14, and I can stand in front of you and say finally, we’re not talking about some that’s been going on for 100 years, we’re talking about fixing a problem that’s gone on for 100 years,” said Russell.

The attorney general said her office has only gone through about 5-10% of the documents from the diocese across the state and more charges are on the way.

The Archdiocese of Detroit responded with a statement Friday afternoon. To read the full statement, click here.

If you are a victim of clergy sexual abuse, you can call the attorney general’s tip line at 844-324-3374.

Some of those tips could lead to criminal charges with the statute of limitations going back to 1995.