Retired Ashland priest accused in sexual abuse complaint


BILLINGS- A legal complaint was filed Friday in the Cascade County District Court in Great Falls by a Northern Cheyenne tribal member claiming she was abused as a young girl by a popular Catholic priest in the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

The woman, who is choosing to remain anonymous, says Fr. Emmett Hoffmann sexually abused her from the mid-1950’s to the early 1960’s.

That information was sent out in a press release this weekend by the defendant’s attorney, Vito de la Cruz (of a Yakima, Washington law firm), and claims the abuse began as a form of discipline and evolved into penetration and eventually rape.

In the release from Vito de la Cruz, Hoffmann is described as a hero in the eyes of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe:

“…hailed by some as a priest who did good things for the Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe. The subject of the book, The Renegade Priest, depicts Hoffmann’s success in converting tribal members to Catholicism. In 1961, Hoffmann (called “Father Emmett” by his faithful), was made an honorary Chief of the Northern Cheyenne Council of 44.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.