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Michigan AG Nessel Files False Imprisonment Charge Against Father Brian Stanley

LANSING - Michigan Attorney Dana Nessel today charged Father Brian Stanley, 57, of Coloma, with one count of False Imprisonment, a felony that carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and requires sex offender registration.  Stanley was arrested by Special Agents from the Attorney General’s Office and bond was set at $100,000 while he waits arraignment in the 57th District Court.

Stanley is accused of secreting away a teenaged boy and holding him against his will in the janitor’s room of St. Margaret’s Church in 2013.  Stanley reportedly 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. 

“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,” said Nessel. “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.”

The charge against Stanley is the result of information from the files seized from the Catholic Church in October of 2018. The crime occurred in the Fall of 2013 when Stanley was asked by the victim’s family to help counsel their son.  It is apparent from Kalamazoo Diocesan records that Stanley had been engaging in this type of conduct with the binding materials for decades. This type of conduct is a sexually motivated crime.


Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Attorney General’s Office does not provide photos of defendants. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office may have a booking photo available.