New Ulm Police Investigating Area Priest
By Brian Arola
Mankato Free Press
February 13, 2017
| Sam Wagner|
The New Ulm Police Department is investigating allegations of sexual misconduct by an area priest.
The allegations stem from when the Rev. Sam Wagner worked in New Ulm from 2014 to 2016, said Jeff Hohensee, senior investigator with the New Ulm Police Department.
No charges have been filed as of Monday. But Wagner has been placed on ministerial leave pending the investigation into "inappropriate personal behavior," according to a statement from the Diocese of New Ulm.
The statement from Douglas Grams, vicar general of the diocese, says it's church policy to remove a clergy member from ministry "when allegations of misconduct are made, without regard to any determination of credibility of the allegations."
Wagner was assigned to the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm from June 23, 2014, to June 29, 2016. He was then assigned to serve as an associate pastor at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, with more duties in the parishes of the Divine Mercy Area Faith Community.
Hohensee said the church is helping with the investigation, which is about halfway completed.
“I will say that the church is cooperating in the investigation, and like everyone else, the person is considered innocent until proven guilty,” he said.