Accused Priest Denies Sexually Molesting Children
By Blake McCoy
December 5, 2013
Knocking on the door of a priest accused of molesting children, we were surprised when that door opened.
"I have never abused anybody," said Father Joseph Wajda. "I deny all these allegations. They are false. They are ridiculous."
Fr. Wajda's name is one of 34 released by the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese Thursday as credibly accused of molesting children. Fr. Wajda was removed from the priesthood in 2002.
11 years have passed but Wajda maintains his innocence and admits he is still being compensated by the archdiocese.
"I'm in the process of trying to get reinstated, so that's it."
We took the interview and showed it to one of father Wajda's accusers.
"Wow," said Shawn Plocher. "But it doesn't surprise me."
Plocher was just 13 years-old when he claims father Wajda abused him in the basement of St. Joseph's parish in Waconia.
He says the two incidents in 1986 involved alcohol, touching, and the removal of clothes.
"The more I talk about it now, it seems the better things get or the easier I can handle it," said Plocher.
Our interview was conducted in an alcohol treatment center where Plocher continues to cope with trauma. While Father Wajda still denied any abuse to our camera, Shawn Plocher is moving forward.
"I'm trying to forgive him," said Plocher. "I still have a long way to go because I still have so much hurt in me and anger, but I'm realizing that unless I get some of this off my chest or show some form of forgiveness, I'll never get beyond this."
Plocher tells KARE 11 that a civil lawsuit was settled out of court.