Police: Call for clergy abuse victims to step forward generated response


St. Paul police say their recent appeal for victims of clergy sex abuse to come forward generated a response.

As MPR reports, a police spokesman says the department heard from several people and investigators are looking into their cases. Police did not say how many people responded after last month's appeal but said their accounts have provided fresh evidence to investigators, according to MPR.

In a Pioneer Press story, spokesman Howie Padilla says the investigations are still in the early stages and police have not yet presented evidence to the Ramsey County attorney's office. Padilla also tells the newspaper that - contrary to some reports - Archbishop John Nienstedt is not currently being investigated.

The commander who leads the family and sexual violence unit of the St. Paul Police Department took the unusual step of holding a news conference last month to publicly encourage victims of clergy abuse to contact police. Cmdr. Mary Walsh said then that a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was being investigated but provided no other details.

Earlier, police said they were reopening an investigation into allegations that the computer of a priest in Hugo contained child pornography.

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