ALLEGAN, Mich. - A priest wrapped a teen boy in plastic and tape and left him in a janitor's room for more than an hour at a Michigan church, prosecutors alleged Thursday as they filed a charge of false imprisonment.
The alleged incident occurred in 2013. But the attorney general's office, citing records from the Kalamazoo Diocese, said the Rev. Brian Stanley "had been engaging in this type of conduct with the binding materials for decades."
Stanley, 57, was in custody and not immediately available for comment. He appeared via video feed for a hearing in Allegan and was formally charged with unlawful imprisonment. He was being held on $5,000 bond and ordered to have no contact with minors as a condition of his bond.
The attorney general's office said the incident occurred at St. Margaret Church in Otsego where Stanley had been asked by the boy's family to counsel him. Investigators said the teen was wrapped in plastic and his mouth and eyes were covered with tape.
In a written statement, Attorney General Dana Nessel's office said it was a "sexually motivated crime."
She said she's "taking on large-scale institutions that turn a blind eye to victims and making certain we hold them accountable." But the diocese said it timely reported the incident to Otsego police in 2013. No charges were filed at the time.
The diocese said it reported "additional allegations" to Coldwater police in 2017 but no charges were filed. Stanley was placed on leave that year and remains barred from public ministry.
"We remain steadfast in our commitment to promote greater protection and safeguards of all people, particularly for children and vulnerable adults. ... We continue to cooperate with the Office of the Michigan Attorney General in its ongoing investigation," the diocese said.
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