A strange case made headlines again last year, where a Catholic priest from Ostego decided that bubble-wrapping a teen boy and imprisoning him in a janitor’s closet was a good idea. Specifically, he wrapped the boy so tightly he couldn’t move his arms legs or head, covered his eyes and mouth with tape, and then shut him up in a dark closet for over an hour.
Why exactly would he have done this, you wonder? According to the boy’s family and the priest involved, it was a punishment that they agreed on because the boy had bad grades and had been caught smoking marijuana. His parents wanted him to learn his lesson, so they approached their parish priest for ideas. Father Brian Stanley suggested isolation.
But the Attorney General’s office disagreed with that motivation…
Dana Nessel, the current Attorney General, has created a task force whose sole purpose is to investigate abuse crimes (primarily sexual) within the church. “This is about taking on large-scale institutions that turn a blind eye to victims. and making certain we hold them accountable.” Nessel explained. “That includes unapologetically pursuing any and all individuals who abuse their power to victimize our residents.”
Among the millions of documents that the task force received from the seven different dioceses in Michigan, was paperwork documenting Father Stanley’s bubble-wrapping treatment of that particular boy. In the end, charges were filed against Stanley for what the Michigan A.G.’s office says are sexual abuse crimes. But there’s no record that boy was molested or inappropriately touched in any way, so how exactly does this count as sexual abuse?
Proving child sexual abuse can be tough, but they do it all the time!
In order to prove that a crime was sexually motivated, a prosecutor has to prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that the defendant either committed the crime for the purpose of sexual gratification or intended to commit a sexual crime. In other words, they did something illegal because it was sexually stimulating for them, or that the crime they committed was leading up to something sexual.
However, there doesn’t appear to be any record that what Father Stanley did had any kind of sexual element, or that he planned to sexually assault the boy. Bubble-wrapping him and isolating him may be strange and even abusive, but it wasn’t sexual. So how can a prosecutor claim it was sexually motivated? The truth is, they do it often. To shock the jury and elicit an emotional response, prosecutors make unsupported claims about a defendant’s mindset or intentions, hoping it’ll get the reaction they need from the jury to get a conviction.
Being accused of sexually abusing a child is devastating!
Few things are more damaging for a person’s reputation than being accused of sexually abusing a child. Which is why it matters which child abuse defense attorney you get to help you manage the fallout from those allegations. So, call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245 today and make sure you have excellent representation through every part of this painful process. We’re here to help you fight, and to defend your rights and your future against allegations and charges.