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Priest accused of tying up teen in janitor’s room pleads guilty

A priest accused of wrapping a teenage boy in plastic, taping his eyes and mouth shut then shutting him in a church janitorial room, is pleading guilty.

The Michigan Department of Attorney General announced 57-year-old Brian Stanley, of Coloma, pleaded guilty on Nov. 20, 2019, to one count of attempted false imprisonment. The attorney general had described the priest’s behavior with the young man as “sexually motivated.”

Stanley will be sentenced on Jan. 27, 2020. He faces up to five years in prison. He will also have to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

According to the charges, the incident in question happened in 2013 at St. Margaret’s Church, when the teenager’s parents had asked Stanley to provide counseling to their son. After binding the survivor tightly, Stanley would leave him alone and immobile in the closet for more than an hour before returning.

The Department of Attorney General noted records from the Kalamazoo Diocese suggest Stanley had engaged in this type of conduct for decades.

The second conviction in the clergy abuse investigation

Stanley’s guilty plea is the second conviction stemming from the attorney general’s 2019 investigation into clergy sex abuse. The first came about a month prior from Rev. Patrick Casey. He’d been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, accused of having sexual contact with an adult male that came to him for counseling.

Casey was sentenced on Nov. 20, 2019, to 45 days in county jail and one year of probation. He must also attend sex offender counseling.

Survivors of clergy abuse can face many challenges on their road to recovery, not just physically and emotionally but also financially. While pursuing legal action against a perpetrator does not undo what happened, it can help begin to provide a sense of closure and, in some cases, secure compensation for a survivor coping with pain and suffering.

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