Updated:
Original:

Priest acquitted of sexual misconduct charges involving woman

Author:

A Twin Cities priest was acquitted Monday on charges of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly starting an affair with a married female parishioner he was counseling at his Maplewood parish.

The Ramsey County jury found Rev. Mark Huberty, 44, not guilty on two counts of sexual misconduct – one for engaging in a sexual relationship with someone he was counseling, and the other for groping her without consent, the Associated Press reports.

Huberty said in a statement that he is relieved by the not guilty verdict.

“I never understood why the prosecution pursued this so aggressively. A lot of unnecessary harm was caused for a lot of people, including the people of my parish and the complainant herself," he said. "Now it’s time to heal.”

According to the criminal complaint, Huberty and the woman met in 2008 when he was pastor at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Maplewood. She had come to him for counseling, and in early 2013 their relationship developed into a sexual one, according to prosecutors.

The Star Tribune reports the fact that it was consensual is not a defense for the criminal charge.

Huberty's attorney Paul Engh said in a statement Monday that Huberty should not have been charged with a crime.

“This was a misunderstanding between two adults,” Engh said, according to the Star Tribune.

Huberty resigned from his position at the parish late last year, and said Monday he is looking forward to returning to active ministry as a priest.

He is still on leave, however, until a review board for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis completes its evaluation of the case, according to the Star Tribune. The archdiocese's code of conduct forbids sexual contact by priests.

Next Up

Walz-May 6 - address

Walz to announce 'new action' on hospital capacity, expand rapid testing

It comes as Minnesota's health system is facing it's biggest COVID challenge yet.

2021.10.14 - Simmons Item 2

Hidden room with explosive, guns found on indicted TikToker's property

The MN man has been indicted on numerous charges, including impersonating an officer.

718 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2019

Charges: Driver ran red light, crashed into woman on mobility scooter

The woman, who had the right of way, was thrown from the scooter and died.

covid-19

Weekly COVID case rate rises in 73 counties

The highest case rates remain in greater Minnesota.

midwest rail

Twin Cities plays key role in new Midwest rail plan

The 40-year plan would mean 24 trips daily between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

bemidji minnesota

Would you move to Bemidji for $2,500? More than 20 have so far.

The city is running a program that will pay people $2,500 to relocate there.

minnesota zoo gladys owl 2 CROP

Escaped owl Gladys dies after being found injured

The Eurasian eagle-owl flew off from Minnesota Zoo staffers on Oct. 1.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Best Buy brings back early Black Friday deals

A 4-day sale featuring "hundreds" of Black Friday offers starts next week.

Gary Paulsen - YouTube screengrab

'Hatchet' author, Minnesota native Gary Paulsen dies

His final novel will be published early next year.

UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group posts quarterly profits of $4.1 billion

The Minnetonka-based health insurance giant is Minnesota's most valuable company.

Related