Investigation into New Ulm Priest Suspended As Detectives Wait on Witnesses
By Brian Arola
Mankato Free Press
August 25, 2017
|Sam Wagner |
The investigation into reports of an inappropriate relationship between a juvenile girl and and a priest in the Diocese of New Ulm has been suspended, according to a release from the New Ulm Police Department.
The Rev. Sam Wagner, who was most recently listed as an associate pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, was placed on administrative leave while the investigation continued. He previously worked in New Ulm from 2014 to 2016.
Jeff Hohensee, senior investigator with the New Ulm Police Department, said the case isn’t considered closed. “We’re just allowing some of the witnesses to take some time to come forward,” he said. “They expressed they wanted some time.”
He said it’s difficult to put a timeline on when the investigation could resume, adding investigators will remain in contact with witnesses.
“We’ll leave it remained open,” he said. “It’s hard to put a timeframe on when someone wants to talk about something.”
Wagner’s current status with the diocese is unclear. Hohensee said it was his understanding that the priest remains on leave pending a review.
Calls to the diocese for comment Friday were not returned.