No charges in church’s handling of abuse case
Published 10:37 am Thursday, January 30, 2014
ST. PAUL — Minnesota prosecutors said Wednesday they would not charge members of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis over the way they handled allegations of sexual abuse by a priest, saying there was not enough evidence to prove anyone — including another priest who learned during a confession of the molestation — violated the law.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said his office can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone failed to immediately report allegations of abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for molesting two brothers.
But, Choi said, the overall investigation into allegations of clergy sexual misconduct, and the archdiocese’s response, is far from over.
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“We will only allow facts to lead the way, and we will pursue justice without fear or favor while doing our best to leave no stone unturned,” Choi said, later adding: “I continue to be troubled by some of the church’s reporting practices.”
In a separate case, Washington County prosecutors said Wednesday they would not charge another archdiocesan priest, the Rev. Jonathan Shelley, who had been accused of possessing child pornography. Prosecutors said authorities concluded none of the images on Shelley’s old computer were illegal.