(FOX 2) - Five Catholic priests have been charged with sexual abuse charges amid a probe by the attorney general's clergy abuse investigative team and a sixth has had his educational license suspended.
Five priests were charged this week with a total of 21 charges, including two priests from the Detroit Archdiocese, two from Lansing, and one from Kalamazoo. The victims range in ages 5 to 26 years old and include four boys and one girl.
"I am deeply disturbed by what we have discovered," said Ann Sherman, deputy solicitor general. "We began this investigation by issuing a search warrant for each of the seven diocese in Michigan. We seized church files including those designated as 'secret.'"
State Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the update on the state's investigation into clergy abuse within Michigan's seven Catholic dioceses. You can watch live on FOX 2's Facebook page or fox2detroit.com/live.
Members of the attorney general's clergy abuse investigative team has been reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents seized from the state's dioceses last October. The clergy abuse hotline has received more than 450 tips since the beginning of the year.
"At 50 years old and this happened when I was 14," said Andy Russell, one of the victims. "I can stand in front of you and say finally, 'we're not talking about something that's been going on for 100 years. We're talking about fixing a problem that's gone on for 100 years.'"
The Catholic Diocese of Lansing released statement after the charges were issued:
We welcome today's actions so that the truth can come out and justice may be served. Any priest who commits reprehensible acts against children does grave harm to victims. He betrays the priesthood and the entire church. We pray that Christ brings healing to all involved."
One of the priests is even accused of performing oral sex on a child during confession.
Below are the priests charged:
Timothy Michael Crowley, 69, Lansing Diocese, was charged in Washtenaw County with four felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) 1, a maximum sentence of life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring, and four felony counts of CSC 2 - a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Crowley, who was a priest in various parishes, including St. Thomas Rectory in Ann Arbor, was arrested Thursday in Tempe, Arizona.
Neil Kalina, 63, Archdiocese of Detroit, was charged in Macomb County with one felony count of CSC 4, a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring. Kalina, who was a priest at St. Kiernan Catholic Church in Shelby Township, was arrested Thursday in Littlerock, California.
Vincent DeLorenzo, 80, Lansing Diocese, was charged in Genesee County with three felony counts of CSC 1, a maximum sentence of life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring, and three felony counts of CSC 2, a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. DeLorenzo, who was a priest at Holy Redeemer Church in Burton, was arrested Thursday in Marion County, Florida.
Patrick Casey, 55, Archdiocese of Detroit, was charged in Wayne County with one felony count of CSC 3, a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Casey, who was a priest at St. Theodore of Canterbury Parish in Westland, was arrested Thursday in Oak Park, Michigan.
Jacob Vellian, 84, Kalamazoo Diocese, was charged with two counts of Rape, a maximum sentence of life in prison. Vellian was a priest at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Benton Harbor, and now lives in Kerala, India. Nessel said they are working on extraditing him from India.
Nessel said nearly all the charges came as a result of calls to the tip line. She said they are only 5 or 10 percent through the information they've received and anticipate many more arrests in the future.
"We want to make certain that we are taking dangerous predators off the streets," she said.