Hibbing priest accused of touching girls acquitted on all charges

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A Hibbing priest accused of touching teenage girls over their clothing was acquitted of the charges against him.

Jurors deliberated for about two hours Monday before finding Rev. Brian Lederer not guilty on all six criminal sexual conduct charges, the Hibbing Tribune reports.

Lederer, who worked as a priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish and Assumption Catholic School in Hibbing, was charged last year. Four girls accused him of snapping their bras, cupping their breasts, touching their buttocks and groin areas, the paper says. The alleged incidents happened after school hours.

Lederer didn't speak after the verdict was read, but his attorney Peter Wold said the jury made the logical choice, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

“I’m pleased. It was the right verdict if you heard the evidence,” he said Monday. The prosecution's case “didn’t come close to proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

However, prosecutor Jeff Vlatkovich called the verdict disappointing, WDIO says.

Lederer has been on administrative leave from the Catholic Diocese of Duluth since he was charged last May, reports note. His future with the diocese remains uncertain, the Duluth News Tribune says.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Tributes pour in after MN Supreme Court justice's daughter found dead

Olivia Chutich died near the campus of Iowa State University.

Image from iOS (96)

Early Saturday fire damages Burger King in Richfield

The fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher Basketball

Maryland hands Gophers first home loss of season

The 17th-ranked Gophers fell to the Terrapins 63-49 on Saturday afternoon.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Minnesota Department of Health files lawsuit against Alibi Drinkery

The Lakeville bar has been in the news for defying orders.

Iron Tap snowmobile delivery

This MN restaurant will deliver to your ice house... on a snowmobile

Just in case you work up an appetite fishing on Lake Waconia.

Klobuchar and Trump

Klobuchar reacts to report Trump plotted against his attorney general

The NYT story alleges further tactics to overturn the election.

snow, plow

Snowy Saturday: Here's how much snow is forecast in Minnesota

Snow will reach the metro area by the early afternoon.

Related