SNAP Applauds A Sixth Conviction For Michigan Attorney General Clergy Abuse Team
(For Immediate Release July 26, 2022)
Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, announced the sentencing of Neil Kalina, 67, a former Michigan priest charged with sex abuse in the 80s. Kalina received a 7–15-year sentence after being found guilty last month of two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
He was a priest at St. Kiernan Catholic Church in Utica, MI., from 1982-1985 and is now convicted of sexually abusing children 13-15 years old. He was first charged in May of 2019 and arrested in Littlerock, California, where he operated "a faith-based service program for at-risk young men" in LA County.
"This conviction marks the sixth one secured by my clergy abuse team," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. "It's also a reminder of our ongoing commitment to this investigation and the survivors in these cases. We will continue to fight for justice."
We are incredibly grateful for the tremendous work of the Michigan Attorney General's Office (OAG) in its ongoing investigation into abuse by the clergy. For far too long, in far too many cases, Catholic church officials who concealed child sex crimes succeeded in "running out the clock," allowing perpetrators to escape responsibility for their violent crimes. In this case, Kalina was allowed to escape justice and relocate to California, where we suspect other victims may be.
Secular investigations, nationally and internationally, provide the best hope of justice for Catholic victims of clergy sex crimes. Just as importantly, these investigations reveal the true scope of the problem of abusive clerics. It is a tragedy that the dioceses who employed these perpetrators failed to disclose crucial information and how the Church allowed these men to continue to endanger the public in other parts of the country or other parts of the world.
We want anyone who may have come in harm's way by Neil' Fr. Neil' Kalina in California to know they still have time to seek justice. California's window legislation for those who have been time-barred from justice expires on December 31, 2022; more information can be found here.
CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager, (267-261-0578, [email protected]) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]) Nadja Tirrell, SNAP Leader - Lansing (810 874-9620, [email protected]) Nancy Crabbs, SNAP Leader - Grand Rapids-West Michigan (616-514-7973,[email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is www.snapnetwork.org)