St. Paul Priest Charged with Abusing 2 Boys

CBS Minnesota
September 21, 2012

[with video]

MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) A former pastor at a St. Paul parish who faces charges for allegedly molesting one boy and exposing himself to another had told one of his victims not to tell anyone or the "parish would fall apart," according to a criminal complaint released Friday.

Curtis Carl Wehmeyer was the parish priest at The Church of the Blessed Sacrament until this June, when he was removed from duty after church authorities learned of the allegations. Wehmeyer, 47, was charged Thursday with three counts of criminal sexual conduct, including one felony.

According to the charges, a boy told authorities that Wehmeyer abused him throughout the summer of 2010, when he was 12. He said Wehmeyer took him to a camper trailer on church grounds, gave him beer and marijuana and touched his genitals while showing him pornography. The complaint said Wehmeyer also exposed himself to the boy and to the boy's older brother, who was 14 at the time.

The younger boy told police that Wehmeyer said "if he told anyone, he would no longer be able to be a priest and the parish would fall apart," the complaint said.

During interviews with investigators, the older brother also said the boys went on a camping trip with Wehmeyer near Big Sandy Lake in Aitkin County in 2010. According to the complaint, the older brother told police he shared a bed with Wehmeyer on the trip, and put blankets and pillows between himself and the priest. The boy said he woke up during the night to find Wehmeyer touching him, and when he awoke in the morning, the barricade of pillows was gone and Wehmeyer's hands were across the boy's chest.

The allegations came to light in June when the boys' mother went to church authorities to report her younger son had been abused.

The parish referred comment to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which issued a statement saying that church authorities immediately went to police, and that Wehmeyer hasn't practiced in any ministry since being removed from duty.

Wehmeyer was ordained in 2001 and served as associate priest at St. Joseph parish in West St. Paul between 2001 and 2006. He went to Blessed Sacrament Parish in 2006, which merged with St. Thomas the Apostle in 2009, the archdiocese said. Wehmeyer became pastor of the merged parishes and was the active pastor up until his removal in June.

As Wehmeyer was leaving church property in June, the complaint said, he told the boys' mother that the younger boy "doesn't lie." The complaint said Wehmeyer also apologized to a church employee for disappointing her and for the people he had hurt.

Wehmeyer's attorney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment. A home phone listing for Wehmeyer was not available.

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