Hibbing priest seeks dismissal of child abuse charges

Pioneer Press

By Tom Olsen
Forum News Service
POSTED: 10/28/2015

HIBBING, Minn. — An attorney for the Hibbing priest accused of sexually abusing four girls is seeking to have his client’s criminal charges dismissed, alleging that the case is the result of an overzealous prosecution fueled by the ongoing child sexual abuse controversy in the Catholic Church.

The Rev. Brian Michael Lederer, 29, faces seven felony charges related to the alleged inappropriate touching of the girls and possession of child pornography.

Lederer’s defense attorney, Peter Wold of Minneapolis, contended in a motion filed last week in St. Louis County District Court that there is a lack of probable cause to substantiate the charges.

Wold said in a 17-page memorandum that the church has been “rocked” by abuse allegations, which he argued has led to a “cultural shift” in the perception of interactions between clergy and parishioners.

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