Former Pastor Receives Sentence for Sexual Abuse

By David Unze
St. Cloud Times
July 9, 2010

A retired pastor and former volunteer chaplain for St. Cloud Police Department was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing a girl in his St. Cloud home over an extended period.

Arthur James Ree, 83, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He admitted during his plea hearing that he had numerous sexual contacts with the girl from late 2001 until June 2003, when the girl was 11-13 years old.

Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen sentenced Ree to two 12-year terms and ordered that he serve the sentences at the same time. She rejected a defense request seeking a shorter sentence for Ree.

Ree had been charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct in court documents that contend the sexual contact lasted until 2006. Some of the abuse happened during a time when Ree was working as a volunteer chaplain for the city’s police department, according to the criminal complaint.

The abuse report surfaced after an argument between Ree and the girl when she refused to allow him to force a sex act on her, according to the complaint.

Ree also was employed at St. Cloud VA Medical Center as a chaplain from 1984-1997.



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