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Survivors group calls for inquiry into abusive priest, archdiocese response after MPR story

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A group representing people who have been abused by priests is calling for a criminal investigation of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, following revelations that archdiocese officials knew about a priest's sexual compulsions for at least a decade before police arrested him for sexually abusing two boys.  

Bob Schwiderski, director of the Minnesota chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said he wants a grand jury to investigate whether Catholic leaders violated any laws by not immediately reporting the abuse once they learned of it.  

The call follows an MPR News investigation that found archdiocese officials knew about the sexual history of priest Curtis Wehmeyer, but disregarded it. Wehmeyer later sexually abused two young boys. Police arrested him in 2012. He pleaded guilty and is now serving five years in prison.  

"If the institutions need to be woken up, so be it," Schwiderski said. "It's time for a criminal investigation into the acts or non-acts of the top religious officials of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis."  

An official speaking on behalf of the archdiocese said he believes its response to Wehmeyer was appropriate and nothing about his history would have led church officials to believe that he would abuse children.

• Related: Archdiocese knew of priest's sexual misbehavior, yet kept him in ministry