Priest pleads guilty to molesting boy

A former priest has pleaded guilty to molesting a young boy in his parish and exposing himself to another.

Curtis Wehmeyer, 48, entered the plea at an evidence hearing in Ramsey County court today. He was accused of sexual contact with two brothers when they were 12 and 14 and attended Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul. Wehmeyer pleaded guilty to 20 charges of criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said the plea caught prosecutors by surprise, but also that his office is pleased.

"What's really good about that situation is that the victims won't have to go through the ordeal of having to testify at trial. And so we're very pleased with this outcome," Choi said.

"Typically defendants aren't going to just right out of the chute plead guilty as charged, but this is what this defendant did. And I do remember reading in the complaint that he was expressing some remorse or bad feelings about having to put this family through all of this and said he was going to take responsibility and it looks like that he did."

Choi said the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis responded quickly to the allegations. The Archdiocese released a statement in September that said it "deeply regrets the pain caused by clergy misconduct or by others within the Church."

Wehmeyer's sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 1. Contact information for his attorney could not immediately be located.

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