Advance Notice: Briefs

Southwest Michigan priest arrested, charged with false imprisonment

By: - August 22, 2019 10:29 am

Susan J. Demas

Special agents from the state Attorney General’s office arrested a priest in Southwest Michigan Thursday, charging him with false imprisonment of a teenage boy in 2013 at St. Margaret’s Church in Coloma.

According to a statement from the attorney general, the Rev. Brian Stanley allegedly “immobilized the young man by wrapping him tightly in plastic (aka saran) wrap, then used masking tape as additional binding and to cover his eyes and mouth. Stanley left the victim, bound and alone, in the janitor’s room for over an hour before returning and eventually letting him go.”

The crime was discovered based on documents seized from the church’s diocese last fall as part of the Attorney General’s investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. According to the statement, the 2013 incident was a “sexually motivated crime.”

Dana Nessel | Susan J. Demas

“As our team continues to pore over what we previously thought was hundreds of thousands of pages of documents – but is now known to be millions of pages – seized from all seven Michigan dioceses last year, we know this is still only the beginning,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement Thursday. 

“This is about taking on large-scale institutions that turn a blind eye to victims and making certain we hold them accountable – that includes unapologetically pursuing any and all individuals who abuse their power to victimize our residents.”

Nessel announced the first arrests in her office’s investigation of the Catholic Church in May, when five priests were charged with criminal sexual misconduct. One of the priests now resides in India, where the attorney general is pursuing his extradition.

A sixth priest was arrested and charged in Wayne County in July.

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Derek Robertson
Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.