Former Macomb County priest sentenced to prison

He will serve seven to 15 years for criminal sexual conduct

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published August 8, 2022

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A former Macomb County priest was sentenced to prison July 26 on two of three counts that charged him with sexually assaulting a teenage parishioner in the 1980s.

Neil Kalina, 67, was convicted by a jury in June, following a four-day trial in Macomb County Circuit Court, of two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for fondling a 14-year-old boy and having the boy fondle him in the rectory at St. Kieran Church in Shelby Township in 1984. Second-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Judge Diane Druzinski sentenced Kalina to seven to 15 years in prison with credit for 215 days served. The most serious charge against Kalina, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, involved a repressed memory of the victim, who is now 52. The jury found Kalina not guilty of the charge.

Kalina was a priest at St. Kieran Catholic Church in Shelby Township from 1982 to 1985. He was originally charged in 2019 and arrested in Littlerock, California.

A complaint to the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2017 stated that, when he was pastor at St. Kieran in the mid-1980s, Kalina gave a 14-year-old boy alcohol, cocaine and marijuana and fondled him during sleepovers in the rectory. Kalina was convicted in 1986 on drug offenses and sentenced to six months in jail and two years of probation.

He then moved to California in 1986. He left active ministry in 1993 and then ran a faith-based service program for at-risk young men.

He was investigated in 2018 by the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

“The Department of Attorney General is committed to securing justice for survivors of sexual abuse, regardless of how difficult a case may be or how much time has passed,” Amber McCann, the communications director at the Michigan Department of Attorney General, said via email.

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

Kalina’s attorney, Zachary Glaza, declined to comment.