Rev. Gilbert J. DeSutter

Summary of Case: DeSutter was accused of the sexual abuse of several boys, and of inappropriate sexual advances against a young adult male parishioner. The archdiocese knew of accusations against him in at least 1989. The earliest known incidents are alleged to have happened in the late 1970s. Two others are said to have occurred in 1992. DeSutter was sent for psychological evaluations by the archdiocese in 1989, and again in 1992. His contact with minors was restricted after the 1992 evaluation, but he was eventually allowed to work as a weekend fill-in priest. He retired in 1994 and relocated in the late 1990s or early 2000s to Mesa, Arizona.

Ordained: 1954
Incardinated: St. Paul and Minneapolis
Retired: 1994


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


St. Paul archbishop was John Gregory Murray (1931-1956).

1956 St. Mark's St. Paul MN 4/4 St. Mark's had a school with 1,248-1,292 students.


Murray was succeeded by William Otterwell Brady (1956-1961), followed by Leo Binz (1961-1975).

1964 Annunciation Minneapolis MN 3/3 Annunciation had a school with 906-
1,100 students.


The St. Paul archdiocese was renamed St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1966.

1968 St. Peter's Richfield MN 2/2, 2/3 St. Peter's had a school with 860-717 students.
1968 1973 St. John Vianney Seminary St. Paul MN religious counselor  


Binz was replaced by John Robert Roach (1975-1995).


Immaculate Conception Fairbault MN 1/3  
1976 1983 St. William's


DeSutter was accused in a 1999 lawsuit of sexually abusing a 12 or 13 year-old altar boy in 1978 or 1979. The archdiocese was told of this allegation in 1993.

MN 1/2  
1983 1993 St. Michael's

Prior Lake

DeSutter was accused in a 1999 lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy in 1992. The archdiocese was informed of this allegation in 1997.

A 1998 letter from the archdiocese to parishioners regarding allegations against DeSutter stated, "In 1989 there were accusations and concerns about inappropriate behavior on his part."

In 1992 a young adult male parishioner reported that DeSutter kissed and groped him during counseling sessions. DeSutter denied the kissing and groping, but said he "hugged everybody".

MN 1/1

St. Michael's had a school with 313-370 students.





According to Archbishop Flynn, DeSutter underwent a psychological evaluation in 1989.


DeSutter was sent for a second psychological evaluation in 1992, after the young man reported inappropriate sexual advances toward him by DeSutter. The archdiocese said they determined that the behavior wasn't "sexual abuse or exploitation", but they decided his contact with minors should be
restricted. He was allowed to do administrative work. Eventually he was allowed to lead public services in parishes when no other priest was available.

1993 1994         DeSutter is not indexed in the 1994 Directory, nor is he listed in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocesan pages at his previous or next assignments.


Harry Joseph Flynn succeeded Roach (1995-2008)

2000? Retired Jordan MN  

DeSutter is not indexed beyond the 2002 Directoy.

Although the Directories through 2002 list a Jordan MN address for DeSutter, he had reportedly been in Arizona for a few years by 2002.


Phoenix bishop was Thomas Joseph O'Brien (1981-2003), followed by Thomas James Olmsted (2003-).

    Mesa AZ  

Per 2002 news reports, DeSutter had been in Arizona for a few years. The Phoenix diocese wrote in a newsletter for its priests that DeSutter was a retired priest from St. Paul and Minneapolis and that he was not authorized to exercise public ministry. Minnesotans on vacation in Arizona in 2002 discovered DeSutter saying Mass and giving sacraments to patients at a hospice there.

Per the archdiocese December 2013, DeSutter's status was "Resigned with limited ministry, 1993-2003". His "current location" in December 2013 is Mesa, Arizona.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1955-2002)

Lawsuits Accuse Former Minnesota Priest of Sex Abuse Suits Accuse Former Priest in Minnesota of Sex Abuse, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, July 1, 1999
Two Ex-Parishioners Allege Sexual Abuse by Priest in Suit against Archdiocese, By Jim Adams, Star Tribune, July 2, 1999
Accused Minnesota Priests Still Working, By Rick Linsk and Charles Laszewski, Pioneer Press, May 26, 2002
Priests with troubled pasts, By Joseph A. Reaves and Kelly Ettenborough, The Arizona Republic, May 4, 2003

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates DeSutter's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on Dec. 8, 2013