Priest Sentenced to 3 Years in Molesting Case

Evansville Courier & Press
October 5, 2006

A priest from the Evansville Catholic diocese has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery, a Class D felony.

The Rev. Wilfred "Fred" Englert, 52, of Jasper, Ind., was sentenced Tuesday to a total of three years in the Dubois County Security Center.

He was convicted of sexually molesting a 19-year-old mentally disabled man. The victim, according to court records, was 19 but suffers from mental retardation and functions at the level of a 9- year-old.

Past court records state Englert admitted having sexual contact with the teen, but told the Indiana State Police it was consensual.

The victim's family told police Englert befriended the man and molested him from April to June 2005. The incidents took place while the two were camping at Patoka Lake and in a residence in Dubois, Ind.

The separate locations of the crimes is why Englert continues to face the same charges in Orange County, where he submitted his intent to plead guilty in August. His sentencing in that case will take place next spring.

Englert was a priest at Jasper's St. Joseph Catholic Church, part of the Diocese of Evansville. His past assignments included churches in Newburgh and Evansville.

Paul Leingang, diocese spokesman, said Englert is not an active minister and his future status will not be discussed again by the diocese until both cases are closed and his sentences served.


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