AG releases report of alleged abuse at Gaylord Catholic Diocese

WLNS [Lansing MI]

January 8, 2024

By Kate Holloway

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Monday announced the release of a report by the AG about allegations of sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of Gaylord.

The report includes a list of priests from the Diocese of Gaylord for which there were allegations of sexual misconduct against either children or adults since January 1, 1950.

The AG intends to release reports on abuse allegations for each of the Catholic Dioceses in Michigan, the first of which detailed the investigation into the Diocese of Marquette.

“The information is being released to the public as an acknowledgment to the victims of these alleged crimes and as a public accounting of the resources allocated to the Department of Attorney General to investigate and prosecute clergy abuse,” AG Nessel said in a news release Monday. “It is important to note, a criminal charge is merely an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

The document for the Gaylord diocese includes the information obtained from the Department of Attorney General tip line, victim interviews, police investigations, open-sourced media, paper documents seized from the Diocese, documents found on the Diocesan computers and reports of allegations disclosed by the Diocese.

“Our promise to the victims was that every case of sexual abuse and assault would be thoroughly reviewed and that the results of the investigation would be transparent,” Nessel said. “I especially want to thank the survivors who have shared their stories, sometimes for the first time after decades of silence.”

In October 2018, Michigan State Police troopers, other police officers and special agents from the AG seized 220 boxes of paper documents and more than 3.5 million digital documents.

The report includes detailed descriptions of allegations of sexual abuse and other sexual misconduct, including grooming and misuse of authority against minors and adults.

So far, the AG has charged 11 Catholic priests with sexual assault in Michigan, none of which were related to priests in the Diocese of Gaylord.

The Michigan priests charged so far are as follows:

  1. Vincent DeLorenzo, a priest at Holy Redeemer Church in Burton, was sentenced to one year in jail and five years’ probation in June 2023. He pled guilty to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old boy, which took place after a service her officiated for the boy’s deceased family member in 1987.
  2. Joseph “Jack” Baker, a pastor at St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford and St. Mary Parish in Wayne, and an associate pastor at Sacred Heart in Dearborn and at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills, was sentenced to 3-15 years’ incarceration in March 2023. A jury found him guilty of sexual penetration with a person under 13, for a 2004 rape.
  3. Neil Kalina, a priest at St. Kiernan Catholic Church in Shelby Township, was sentenced to 7-15 years’ incarceration in July 2022. A jury found him guilty of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old child in 1984.
  4. Gary Berthiaume, a priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wyandotte and later Our Lady of Sorrows in Farmington, was sentenced to 17 months to 15 years’ incarceration in January 2022. The charges were for sexually abusing three children between 13-15 in the 1970s.
  5. Gary Jacobs, a priest in the Diocese of Marquette, was sentenced to 8-15 years’ incarceration. He admitted to abusing five children under the age of 16 in the Upper Peninsula during the 1980s.
  6. Joseph Comperchio, a church organist and Catholic school drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson, was sentenced to 10-30 years’ incarceration, for sexual abuse of four minor children. He died in 2022 while serving his sentence.
  7. Brian Stanley, a priest at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Otsego, was sentenced in January 2020 to 60 days’ incarceration and five years’ probation, for false imprisonment of a teenage boy.
  8. Patrick Casey, a priest at St. Theodore of Canterbury Parish in Westland, was sentenced in November 2019 to 45 days’ incarceration for initiating oral sex with an adult who was attempting to make a confession in 2013.
  9. Timothy Crowley, a priest at St. Thomas Rectory in Ann Arbor, was sentenced in November 2023 to one-year incarceration and five years’ probation, for sexually abusing a minor child three decades ago.
  10. Roy Joseph, a priest in Marquette County, was charged in January 2020 for a 2006 assault and is awaiting extradition from India.
  11. Jacob Vellian, a priest at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Benton Harbor, was charged in May 2019 with two counts of rape under previous criminal sexual assault statutes. The AG was notified in November 2023 that he likely passed away while awaiting extradition from India, but the AG is awaiting confirmation of his death.

If you have any information about priest misconduct, you can share it by way of the investigation hotline at 844-324-3374, or by email at