Brainerd / Priest Pleads Not Guilty; Trial Set

December 2, 1987

A 56-year-old Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual misconduct with children.

The Rev. Robert William Klein of Brainerd entered the plea in Crow Wing County District Court Monday to three counts of sexual misconduct in the second degree and one count in the fourth degree.

A trial before Judge John Spellacy was scheduled for Dec. 15.

Klein's attorney, Frederick Casey, is seeking a court order granting authorization to talk with schoolteachers to see what they can tell about the children allegedly involved. He said parents of the complainants have declined to authorize such talks.

Klein is accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with three boys ages 15, 13 and 12, and with a 10-year-old girl at his residence in Brainerd in the last two years, according to a complaint filed by the county attorney in September.

Klein was not assigned to a parish in the Duluth Diocese, whose area includes Brainerd, but he reportedly substituted for priests in their parishes and helped with other ministries.


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