Attorney General Files Charges Against Coloma Priest

In a case involving a teenage boy half a dozen years ago, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has today charged a Coloma Priest with false imprisonment, a felony that could lead to up to 15 years in prison.

Attorney Dana Nessel has charged 57-year old Father Brian Stanley of Coloma with one count of False Imprisonment. False Imprisonment in Michigan is a felony that carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and additionally requires registration by the individual as a sex offender on the state’s registry.

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 teenage 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. The Priest left the victim, bound and alone, in the janitor’s room for over an hour before returning and eventually letting him go.

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Nessel says, “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.” She adds, “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 diocese 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 Archdiocese 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.

Stanley has served the Catholic Diocese throughout Southwest Michigan over the years including parishes in Three Oaks and Sawyer, and in 2016 was installed as the new Pastor of SS. John and Bernard Parish in Benton Harbor. 

The Attorney General reminds, also, that a criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.