Attorney General’s inquiry leads to sex abuse charges against retired Missouri priest


February 25, 2020

By Nassim Benchaabane

A retired southeast Missouri priest charged with sexually abusing a teen 20 years ago is the first to be prosecuted in connection with a yearlong investigation by the Missouri Attorney General’s office into sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

At least 11 other cases have been referred to county prosecutors, said Chris Nuelle, with the attorney general’s office.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Louis said Monday that the archdiocese could not confirm whether any former priests here were included in Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s referrals.

Schmitt, Missouri’s top prosecutor, began the referrals in November, following a yearlong statewide review of church records dating to 1945 that reported 163 former clergy had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

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