Wagner ordered not to contact teen

The Journal

NEW ULM — The parents of a 17-year-old girl in Brown County filed an order for protection Aug. 2 to prevent Fr. Sam Wagner, a priest of the New Ulm Diocese, from contacting her.

The petition reports an “inappropriate relationship with a New Ulm priest” earlier this year and details portions of more than 1,500 social media messages between the two, according to the order.

Wagner was investigated by New Ulm police this year when the alleged relationship were reported to them. The Brown County Attorney’s office has suspended the case without filing charges at this time, citing a lack of evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Wagner remains suspended from ministry pending a review by the Diocesan Clergy Review Board.

Granted Aug. 4 in Brown County District Court, the two-year order against Wagner, who served at The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm between 2014 and 2016, detailed Facebook messages between him and the student between March 17, 2015 and Dec. 27, 2016.

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