Police sift through new evidence of alleged sex abuse by Catholic priests

Police investigators are sifting through new evidence coming from people who say they were sexually abused by Catholic priests.

St. Paul Police spokesman Howie Padilla said since the department issued a call for victims to come forward four weeks ago, several people have responded.

"Some folks have courageously, bravely come forward to tell their stories," Padilla said. "We're looking into those."

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Police urged the public to contact investigators after they re-opened their investigation into the Rev. Jonathan Shelley and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The call for help came after MPR News reported that the archdiocese discovered pornography on Shelley's computer in 2004 -- images that the archdiocese's internal investigation concluded were "borderline illegal."

Police wouldn't say how many people came forward to report abuse.

But Padilla said the victim accounts are providing new evidence for investigators.

"This investigation is complex, it's in depth, and we are going to be thorough with it," he said. "Being thorough is going to have us follow the path this investigation takes us."

Padilla said police have not made any arrests and have not presented a case to the Ramsey County Attorney.

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