Police Search St. John's Abbey for Hoefgen Files
By David Unze
St. Cloud Times
May 15, 2015
An investigator from the Hastings Police Department served a search warrant last week at St. John's Abbey as part of the prosecution of former abbey monk Fran Hoefgen.
The investigator was seeking personnel records the abbey had on Hoefgen, who is accused of abusing a former altar boy between 1989 and 1992 when Hoefgen was a priest at a Hastings church.
Hoefgen, 64, is scheduled to stand trial Monday on the charges in Dakota County.
The investigator requested the same files from the attorney representing Hoefgen, but received copies that had certain documents removed because they were "personal, private or privileged," according to the search warrant filed in Stearns County District Court.
Investigator Christopher Nelson then sought the warrant to get from the abbey the "complete, original, un-redacted personnel, personal, historical, incident" and any other files related to Hoefgen for "evidence related to the alleged incidents of sexual assault," according to the warrant.
The warrant's inventory receipt, which shows what investigators collected during the search, shows that Nelson left with seven file folders. Five of the folders had Hoefgen's name on them and were listed as being personnel records and canonical and personal files.