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More charges expected in AG's clergy abuse investigation

Posted at 12:40 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 20:26:48-05

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s Attorney General’s Office says more charges are coming in a statewide clergy abuse investigation.

Since the investigation started under former Attorney General Bill Schuette, investigators have received over 640 tips and identified 552 victims from just three dioceses: Marquette, Gaylord and Grand Rapids.

By the time the investigation is closed, Attorney General Dana Nessel is estimating there will be thousands of victims.

There are currently 130 cases being investigated or reviewed for possible charges. Forty-five of those cases are being actively investigated, 25 have been sent to the diocese for other action and seven have resulted in charges. More priests are expected to be charged early in 2020.

Two priests from West Michigan have been charged: Brian Stanley of Coloma and Jacob Vellian of Benton Harbor.

Stanley has pleaded guilty to false imprisonment for wrapping a teen in plastic wrap and holding him against his will in the janitor’s room at St. Margaret’s Church in 2013.

He is facing up to five years in prison and will be sentenced Jan. 27.

Vellian, 84, is charged with raping a girl under the age of 16 while he was a priest in Berrien County. He now lives in India, where prosecutors are pursuing his extradition to the U.S.