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Ramsey County won't charge 2 priests in separate claims of abuse

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Ramsey County will not be prosecuting two separate cases of alleged priest abuse because there wasn't enough evidence to support charges, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.

The cases involved claims of abuse at Saint John the Baptist Church in New Brighton from 1992-94, and Saint Casmir's Church in St. Paul from 1979-84.

“As we have said from the very beginning, the facts will lead the way; we can only do what the law allows; and we will do what justice requires,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement.

In the case involving Saint John the Baptist, Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Richard Dusterhoft wrote in a memo to the county attorney there wasn't enough evidence to move forward with charges, noting there were no witnesses to corroborate the complainant's allegations and no other victims of the suspect had come forward.

Dusterhoft noted to the county attorney that because the alleged abuse at Saint Casmir's is 33 years old, and because it will be unlikely to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect was acting in a position of authority, they cannot prosecute the suspect for violating a crime the way it was defined in 1981.

These two cases bring the number of claimed abuse cases that Choi's office won't prosecute to nine, the Star Tribune reports.

However, the overall investigation into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis does continue, the attorney's office said.

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