AP NEWS

Detroit-area priest gets jail; second priest pleads guilty

November 20, 2019

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area Catholic priest was sentenced to 45 days in jail Wednesday for assaulting a suicidal younger man who wanted counseling, while a priest in western Michigan pleaded guilty to binding a teenager with bubble wrap and tape.

The Rev. Patrick Casey was accused of engaging in sex acts with the man, who was struggling with homosexuality and his faith. The victim said he “needed a shepherd” but that the priest didn’t help him in 2013.

“I’m not blaming all my problems on (Casey). I was messed up before I ever met him,” the man, now in his early 30s, said in a written statement. “But he could have helped. And he chose not to. He contributed to it instead. For the next several years I drank heavily and constantly to cope with the pain and rage I felt.”

Casey, 56, apologized in court.

He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in October after a jury said it was having trouble reaching a unanimous verdict on a felony charge. He was removed from public ministry in 2015 after the victim reported what had happened to the Detroit Archdiocese.

Spokesman Ned McGrath said the archdiocese didn’t report it to police because it involved a priest and another adult. He said that policy has changed. Casey was investigated after Catholic bishops in Michigan turned over documents to the attorney general’s office in 2018.

In a court filing, state investigators quoted the archdiocese as saying Casey was “predatory” and a “wolf.”

Separately, in western Michigan, the Rev. Brian Stanley pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempted false imprisonment. He was accused of wrapping a teen boy in bubble wrap and tape in 2013 in a janitor’s room at an Allegan County church.

“Our department remains steadfast in its commitment to bringing a swift end to an era of abuse that has hidden in plain sight for too long,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

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