Updated:
Original:

Archbishop won't be prosecuted after allegation of inappropriate touching

Author:

Prosecutors will not file charges against Archbishop John Nienstedt, who in December was accused of groping a boy several years ago at a public event. The Ramsey County attorney's office announced the decision Tuesday, saying an investigation by the St. Paul Police Department did not find sufficient evidence of a crime, MPR News reports.

Nienstedt, the head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, voluntarily stepped aside from public ministry while police investigated the allegation that he touched a boy on the buttocks during a group confirmation photo session in 2009.

The Archdiocese reported the alleged incident to police Dec. 17.

"I do not know the individual involved; he has not been made known to me," Nienstedt said in a letter addressed to Catholics in the archdiocese after the allegation came to light. "I presume he is sincere in believing what he claims, but I must say that this allegation is absolutely and entirely false."

News of the allegation came amid a widening scandal over accusations of clergy sexual abuse in the archdiocese. Nienstedt apologized for having "overlooked" the question of child sexual abuse by priests in the archdiocese during a homily at Our Lady of Grace church in Edina just two days earlier, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Nienstedt released a statement Tuesday afternoon, thanking law enforcement officials for their thorough investigation.

"While I look forward to my returning to public ministry, I remain committed to the ongoing work needed to provide safe environments for all children and youth," Nienstedt said. "I continue to offer my prayers for all victims, their families and their communities, as well as to all who have been harmed by clergy sexual abuse. I once again offer my apology to all who have been affected by these terrible offenses."

At least 20 new lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by clergy have been filed in Minnesota since May, when a new state law took effect that temporarily lifts the statute of limitations for underage sex-abuse victims, the Pioneer Press reports.

Nienstedt was appointed to lead the archdiocese in 2008 after serving in New Ulm.

Next Up

CJ Ham

Vikings-Seahawks: 5 things you can count on happening

Can the Vikings finally beat Russell Wilson?

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Residents asked to be on the lookout for at-large suspect in Sauk Rapids

The suspect was last seen near the intersection of Garden Brook Drive Northeast and Strawberry Court Northeast.

Towerside Innovation District

Aquifer energy storage project wins financial backing of Mpls city council

It'll be used to power the Towerside Innovation District near the U of M.

Screen Shot 2021-09-25 at 10.02.45 AM

Bomb threat prompts school evacuation in central Minnesota

A search of the building did not find any suspicious items.

Pexels - beer outside patio brewery

Brewery, taproom moving into former Twin Cities newspaper space

Loons Landing officially signed the lease this week.

Vic Richfield auto theft PD - rectangle crop

Police: Car with dog inside stolen from outside Twin Cities liquor store

They're asking people to be on the lookout for the vehicle.

John Hofer - Chisago County Sheriff's Office

Murder charge filed over inmate's death at Chisago Co. Jail

The man suddenly became unresponsive and died while in a holding cell.

reproductive rights caucus

Minnesota DFL lawmakers form Reproductive Freedom Caucus

The move comes as some Republicans explore proposals to limit abortion access.

Flickr - child wearing mask close up - Nenad Stojkovic

Counties without K-12 mask mandate see sharper rise in child COVID cases

That's according to a new study released Friday by the CDC.

Related