TRIAL OF HIBBING PRIEST ACCUSED OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT GETS UNDERWAY
By Jim Romsaas
Mesabi Daily News
June 14, 2016
HIBBING — The Hibbing priest charged with sexual misconduct and possession of child pornography is slated for trial this week before Judge David E. Ackerson in St. Louis County District Court in Hibbing.
A pretrial hearing was held for Brian M. Lederer, 30, Monday. Jury selection is expected to get under way today.
Lederer is charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree and possession of pornographic work. All are felony level charges.
Lederer was arrested and charged in May 2015. The criminal complaint was amended in August 2015 when a charge of possession of pornography and another charge of criminal sexual conduct were added.
Lederer was ordained in June 2012 and was an associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament when was arrested and charged.
He often had contact with children of the parish and students at Assumption School.
Once charged, Lederer was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Duluth. While on leave, he is not allowed to minister as a priest and/or have contact with anyone under age 18.
Lederer posted $250,000 bond in May and was released.
The criminal sexual conduct charges stem from allegations brought forth by four females under the age of 16.
Each claims that Lederer inappropriately touched them while at school.
Incidents also occurred at the home of two of the minors.
Court records list and describe the images of child porn and websites allegedly found on Lederer’s personal computer. The images included minors of both genders and at least one of the images was a classroom-like setting.
Lederer is being represented by Attorney Peter Wold.
Assistant County Attorney Jeff Vlatkovich will serve for the prosecution.