Police investigating Maplewood priest for sexual misconduct

Maplewood police say they have been investigating allegations of criminal sexual misconduct by a Maplewood priest since May 1.

The Rev. Mark Huberty, pastor of the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood, has taken a voluntary leave of absence over an allegation he inappropriately touched a woman, which he denies.

Maplewood Deputy Police Chief Dave Kvam said the conduct involving Huberty occurred over an unspecified period of time.

"There's no safety risk to others and no indication that this would involve more than one victim -- at least at this point," Kvam said.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has asked to refer the case to another county attorney because he and Huberty were high school classmates.

A spokesman for Choi says the case has been referred to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman's office.

A statement from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Huberty is no longer living in the parish rectory but has not been suspended or removed from the parish. An administrator has been appointed to oversee the parish.

Huberty, who has served as pastor of the Maplewood-based church since 2007, has said he is cooperating fully with police and archdiocese investigations.

The alleged act is a violation of the pastoral code of conduct at the Archdiocese. State law also forbids a priest from having sexual relations with parishioners or anyone under the pastoral care.

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