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Priest who wrapped boy in plastic wrap, tape sentenced to 60 days in jail

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. -- A Coloma priest has been sentenced to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to false imprisonment. He admitted to binding a teenage boy in plastic wrap, covering his eyes in masking tape and leaving him in a janitor's closet of St. Margaret's Church in 2013.

The victim was left bound and alone in the janitor's closet for over an hour, reports said.

Father Brian Stanley was sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for two days served, five years probation and must register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Stanley pleaded guilty to false imprisonment on November 20, 2019.

“Mr. Stanley took advantage of a vulnerable victim and today he is being held accountable,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “We continue to review information seized from all seven Michigan dioceses in 2018, and we will thoroughly evaluate accusations and complaints brought forth by victims. For too long, criminal behavior by members of the clergy has gone unnoticed, and that must stop.”  

Father Stanley served in Michiana for decades.

Stanley graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1984, then taught high school and coached track at the Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois. He was ordained as a priest in Kalamazoo in 1996, and then ran the St. Charles parish in Coldwater for a decade before becoming a US Army chaplain. In 2013, he was assigned to St. Margaret’s in Otsego, then sent to St. Johns and St. Bernard’s parish in Benton Harbor a year later before being put on administrative leave in 2017.

The Diocese of Kalamazoo released the following statement after Father Stanley's arrest in August 2019:

“The Diocese of Kalamazoo learned this morning that Fr. Brian Stanley has been criminally charged by the Michigan Attorney General. The incident alleged in the Attorney General’s complaint was reported to the Diocese in 2013. In accordance with the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Diocese promptly reported the allegation to Child Protective Services, who referred the matter to the Otsego Police Department for investigation.

“We promptly placed Fr. Brian Stanley on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation. According to the Otsego Police Department, ‘the complaint was not criminal and there would be no charges.’

“Four years later, the Diocese learned of additional allegations involving Fr. Stanley. We reported these incidents to the Coldwater Police Department; no charges were filed by law enforcement. We placed Fr. Stanley on administrative leave from active ministry in January 2017. He remains on administrative leave and is prohibited from public ministry.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to promote greater protection and safeguards of all people, particularly for children and vulnerable adults. We adhere to the National 2002 Charter for the Protection of Young People, which guides all that we do.

“We continue to cooperate with the Office of the Michigan Attorney General in its ongoing investigation. We encourage the reporting of clergy sex abuse to the Attorney General’s office by calling the established hotline at 844.324.3374.”

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