Former priest sentenced for sex crime in SE Minnesota

KIMT3 News [Rochester, MN]

January 19, 2024

By Mike Bunge

A former priest has been sentenced for a sex crime in Winona County.

In October 2023, a jury found Ubaldo Roque Huerta, 51 of Rushmore, guilty of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct.  Huerta was charged in August 2022 with performing a sex act on an intoxicated person but did not show up for a court hearing in September 2022 and was a fugitive until being arrested in May 2023.

Huerta has now been sentenced to 10 days in jail, four years of supervised probation, and a $900 fine.

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester says Huerta was ordained as a priest on June 28, 2008, but had not had an assignment within the Diocese since 2018.  Huerta was suspended in November of 2019 the Diocese says it was actively working toward his laicization at the time this sexual abuse happened.  Huerta lost his clerical status toward the end of 2021.