Priest pleads guilty in abuse investigation

Michigan
Brian Stanley

An Aug. 22, 2019 booking photo of Father Brian Stanley. (Allegan County Sheriff’s Office)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A priest, of Coloma, pleaded guilty to one felony count of attempted false imprisonment Wednesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.

This comes hours after another priest was sentenced to jail in Nessel’s clergy abuse investigation.

Brian Stanley, 57, pleaded guilty during his final pretrial conference in Allegan County.

He faces a maximum of five years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Stanley was charged in August after being accused of secretly holding a teenage boy against his will in a janitor’s closet at St. Margaret’s Church in 2013.

The AG’s Office says Stanley immobilized the victim by wrapping him tightly in plastic wrap and used masking tape as additional binding, covering the boy’s eyes and mouth.

He left the victim alone in the closet for over an hour before returning and letting him go, according to a news release.

The AG’s office says it was a sexually-motivated crime.

Nessel says their department is committed to ending the era of abuse that’s being hidden in plain sight.

In a statement the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo said they will continue to cooperate with authorities during the ongoing investigation.

“The Diocese of Kalamazoo learned this afternoon that Fr. Brian Stanley, who has been and remains on administrative leave from active ministry since January of 2017, pleaded guilty to one felony count of Attempted False Imprisonment. The incident referenced was reported to the Diocese in 2013, and was promptly reported to Child Protective Services, which referred the matter to the Otsego Police Department for investigation. We continue to cooperate with the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Michigan throughout its ongoing investigation,” the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo said.

Stanley’s sentencing date is set for Jan. 27, 2020.

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