St. Paul priest arrested; allegations of child abuse

A St. Paul priest has been removed from his post after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused a minor.

The priest was arrested on Friday, but has not yet been charged. MPR News typically does not name suspects before they are charged. The abuse allegedly occurred during a two-year period.

Police spokesperson Howie Padilla said the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis approached police with the allegation.

"We had information on Thursday that there was a possible allegation of sex abuse regarding an employee of the archdiocese and a juvenile male victim," Padilla said. "The investigation is at this time ongoing."

Jim Accurso, a spokesperson for the archdiocese, said the church regrets any pain this situation has caused in the community.

Archdiocese officials learned about the accusations on Tuesday, June 19. On Wednesday, church officials met with the victim and then reported the situation to St. Paul police. On Thursday, the priest was removed from all ministerial duties. Parishioners at the church where the suspect was assigned were told about the situation at masses held this weekend.

Accurso said it is church procedure to investigate immediately when presented with credible accusations.

The priest has been released from Ramsey County Jail.

A statement released by the archdiocese on Sunday asked anyone with knowledge of misconduct in a parish to report it to the archdiocese at 651-291-4497.

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