Competency Exam Ordered For Ex-Shelby Township Priest Charged With Sexually Assaulting Boys

WWJ News
August 27, 2019

A former Macomb County priest will undergo testing to determine if he's competent to stand trial on sexual assault charges.

A judge ordered the exam requested by an attorney for 63-year-old Neil Kalina during a brief hearing in 41-A District Court in Shelby Township.

"What they call a competency and culpability exam will be done at a center in Ypsilanti that is known to be backed up with orders," reported WWJ Newsradio 950's Mike Campbell, "so it's probably going to be awhile before there are results."

Kalina faces four counts of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly sexually abusing young boys when he was a priest at St. Kieran Catholic Church in Shelby Township in the mid-1980s. He also worked in Sterling Heights and Utica. 

Dressed in a dark blue inmate jumpsuit with his cuffed wrists chained to his waist, he did not speak in court Tuesday morning.  

He was arrested back in May in Littlerock, California, as the Michigan Attorney General's Office clergy abuse investigative team has been reviewing hundreds of thousands of pages of documents seized from the dioceses last October.

On a since deleted Gofundme page for something called "Operation High Hopes," Kalina -- referring to himself "Father Neil" -- sought donations to help at-risk, homeless and runaway youth and young adults in California. Among other services, Kalina said his program aimed to provide "opportunities and options as an alternative to the street."

Kalina will remain behind bars in the Macomb County Jail as he awaits the results of the forensic testing, designed to determine competency to understand criminal responsibility and competency to stand trial.


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