List reveals southeast Minnesota priests accused of sex crimes

Victims of sexual abuse in the church have been trying to get lists of accused priests published for years. Recently, the Diocese of Winona came forward with a list naming 14 priests that may have been involved in the sexual abuse of minors. The list was submitted to a district court in Ramsey County just one day prior to a judge’s established deadline. The formation of the list was part of a judicial order that required Minneapolis and St. Paul churches to release a similar list earlier in the month. That list named 34 priests.

According to one attorney that represents victims of sex crimes, these lists help keep children safe. Also, he argues that the lists may help victims to seek confidential help rather than suffering in silence. One advocate for abuse victims, a former priest, stated that the list is a good start but is by no means comprehensive. He believes that the number of priests involved in sexual abuse may be much larger. He also states that the lists should reveal when church leaders found out about the abuse and what was done to cover up the incidents.

Some of the priests on the list are now deceased. One of the five clergy that is sill alive was removed from his position. Three more priests on the list will be removed soon. One bishop from the diocese has apologized for the alleged crimes and has expressed his hope that the church and community can move forward. Advocates for the victims state that bishops must have the courage to contact police when these allegations arise, otherwise no progress will take place.

Even though the crimes that are alleged in this situation are particularly despicable and involve a severe breach of trust, it must be remembered that these are just accusations. The priests are innocent until proven guilty in the courts, regardless of the public outrage surrounding them.

Source:, “Winona Diocese priest list released” No author given, Dec. 16, 2013

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.
If a county medical examiner’s work is called into question in one case, it can affect all those they were a part of. An independent review is underway of murder cases involving the testimony of the long-time medical examiner in Ramsey County, Minnesota. The review comes in response to a wrongful murder conviction that was recently vacated on the basis that the medical examiner gave flawed medical testimony.
You might ask how plea bargains work if you are considering settling your criminal case by skipping the trial phase. A plea bargain in Minneapolis, MN, happens when a criminal defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest instead of having the prosecution prove his or her guilt at trial. The prosecution agrees to reduce the charges, recommend less harsh penalties, or drop the charges altogether in exchange for a guilty plea.