January 4, 2021
By Chris Larson
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem today announced that the investigation by his office into allegations of child sexual abuse by members of the North Dakota Catholic Dioceses has concluded.
The eighteen month long criminal investigation commenced around the time the two North Dakota Catholic Dioceses, headquartered in Fargo and Bismarck, compiled and released a list of 53 individuals for whom they felt allegations of child sexual abuse had been substantiated. Stenehjem met with Bishops David Kagan and John Folda in June of 2019, and requested access to inspect all the records of the church relating to clergy abuse, and the Bishops agreed.
Stenehjem assigned four seasoned agents from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to the cases. The Dioceses cooperated with the Attorney General’s office in allowing the agents to review all complaints, records and files, including allegations for those not previously designated as “substantiated” by the Dioceses.
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