Woman accuses Fargo priest of sexually abusing her as a teen in the 1970s

In Forum

June 26, 2019

By April Baumgarten

A woman who says she was sexually abused by a Fargo priest in the 1970s is sharing her story.

The woman, who asked not to be named, has reported the allegations against retired Father Jack Herron, who was a priest at St. Anthony of Padua, to the Catholic Diocese of Fargo and the Fargo Police Department. She told The Forum Herron groped her and touched her inappropriately in the church’s rectory.

“I have to deal with this. It’s kind of like how your life is a puzzle,” she said. “I’ve dealt with everything else in my life that were struggles except this one corner piece.”

The woman was 15 to 16 years old when the alleged inappropriate contact occurred, according to a January letter to the diocese. The letter, which was obtained by The Forum, was from her attorney and described how she had sought Herron’s help in answering questions about the Catholic faith.

Though the alleged abuse didn’t happen immediately, the letter details inappropriate touching. At times, Herron called her “his little lady,” the letter alleged. The priest allegedly asked her to keep the interactions a secret.

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