Wisconsin Briefing

Saint Paul Pioneer Press
November 10, 2000

Archdiocese reassures Catholics:

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has issued a statement seeking to reassure Catholics that the sexual assault conviction of a Fond du Lac priest was an isolated incident.

Rev. John A. O'Brien pleaded no contest Tuesday to fourth-degree sexual assault of a teen-age boy. He was directed to enroll in a six-month treatment program, fined $1,000 placed on 18 months probation and ordered to have no unsupervised contact with minors.

O'Brien resigned as pastor of Church of the Presentation in North Fond du Lac in October. He had served there for nine years.

The statement said the Archdiocese takes the charges seriously but said there is no evidence of any other misconduct between O'Brien and minors.

The Ardiocese granted O'Brien a leave of absence to complete treatment and would review any further assignments after he has been evaluated, the statement said.

It said the church should be an "instrument of healing" and asked victims to contact church officials for assistance.


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