Former Macomb County priest convicted of criminal sexual conduct

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A former Macomb County priest has been convicted of sex abuse and faces prison, the Michigan Attorney General's Office announced Monday. 

A jury in Macomb County Circuit Court on Friday convicted Neil Kalina of two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, records show.

The charges are 15-year felonies, investigators said in a statement.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 26 before Judge Diane Druzinski.

Kalina's lawyer, David Heyboer, declined to comment.

Kalina, who is now in his 60s, was first charged in May 2019 and arrested in Littlerock, California.

He served as a priest at St. Kiernan Catholic Church in Shelby Township from 1982-85.

The charges stem from contact in 1984, court records show.

He was accused of fondling a youth at St. Kieran after providing him alcohol and drugs, the Attorney General's office has reported.

Kalina was part of a religious order separate from the Archdiocese of Detroit, called the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission, and left the public ministry in 1993. An allegation against him was brought to the archdiocese in 2017 and forwarded to his order as well as the Shelby Township Police Department.

He was initially set to face trial last fall.

Kalina also faced a first-degree CSC charge, a felony punishable by up to life in prison, but the jury last week found him not guilty, records show.

“This conviction marks the sixth one secured by my clergy abuse team,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Monday. “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.” 

In all, 11 people have been charged since the start of her office's clergy abuse investigation, officials said Monday.