Priest Charged with Kidnapping Thanks to Michigan AG Investigation
Another Michigan priest is being charged with child sex crimes because of the outstanding work of Attorney General Dana Nessel and her team. We commend her and the staff for all their hard work in reviewing the files from the Diocese of Kalamazoo. We hope this story inspires others who may be suffering in silence to come forward, make a report to the AG, and start healing.
According to news reports, Fr. Brian Stanley was arrested for kidnapping. The complaint alleges that the priest wrapped a teenager tightly in plastic, taped his eyes and mouth shut, and then left him alone in a janitor’s room at an Otsego, MI parish for more than an hour. Fr. Stanley later returned and released the boy.
The incident was reported to the Diocese of Kalamazoo in 2013. The priest was immediately suspended and, according to church officials, the allegations were also reported to police who said that “the complaint was not criminal and there would be no charges.” Fr. Stanley was then reinstated, it would appear without any internal investigation.
This less than adequate response by the Diocese of Kalamazoo is emblematic of why we believe investigations like AG Nessel’s are so important. Without her team taking a closer look at church records, it is likely that Fr. Stanley would never have faced criminal charges. Instead, communities are better informed, and children are safer thanks to her ongoing investigation.
We hope that this news will inspire the thirty other attorneys general who have yet to open an investigation into clergy abuse within their states. We also hope that these probes will be completely independent, backed up with search warrants and subpoena power.
In addition, we also call on church officials in Michigan to use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to share the information about Fr. Stanley with parishioners and the public, and to encourage victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers to come forward and make a report to law enforcement. Anyone in Michigan who has suspicions about cases of clergy abuse can assist the AG’s investigation by calling 1-844-324-3374 or using this confidential, online reporting form.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)