Ramsey County District Court: Priest Guilty in Abuse of Brothers by Urmila Ramakrishnan

By Urmila Ramakrishnan
Pioneer Press
November 10, 2012

Curtis Carl Wehmeyer was the pastor at the Parish of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has removed him from his position. Photo received Monday, June 25, 2012. (Pioneer Press: Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff)

An Oakdale priest who formerly served at a parish in St. Paul pleaded guilty Thursday, Nov. 8, to molesting two boys and possessing child pornography.

Curtis Carl Wehmeyer, 48, sexually abused the brothers when he was pastor of Blessed Sacrament on St. Paul's East Side, he admitted in a Ramsey County District Court hearing Thursday afternoon. He also pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.

Judge Salvador Rosas accepted Wehmeyer's guilty pleas to one count of felony criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and two counts of gross misdemeanor criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree. Wehmeyer also pleaded guilty to 17 counts of possession of child pornography as part of a separate case.

After the hearing, the boys hugged family members outside the courtroom.

Wehmeyer was charged Sept. 20 with three counts of criminal sexual conduct. He molested the boys from June to Aug. 21, 2010.

The molestation took place on a camping trip and in a camper at the church at 1801 LaCrosse Ave.. The priest owned the camper and kept it in the church parking lot. Wehmeyer admitted to molesting the younger brother, who was 12 at the time.

"I touched his penis," Wehmeyer said in court. He admitted it happened more than once.

He also admitted he showed the boys child porn and masturbated in front of them.

Child pornography was found on Wehmeyer's computer in the closet of his bedroom after a search warrant was issued to investigate the molestation

charges. The laptop contained 14 images and three videos that involved sexual acts with children under 18.

Wehmeyer's lawyer, Thomas Plunkett, said in court that he disagreed with some counts because police found on the computer some pornography files that Wehmeyer had deleted.

Wehmeyer wanted to plead guilty in a previous court appearance but Plunkett stopped him, Plunkett said in court. The attorney wanted more time to prepare, he said.

Prosecutor Margaret Galvin expressed surprise that Wehmeyer was pleading guilty at such a relatively early stage in the proceedings.

Wehmeyer said that he is on antidepressants.

Church officials removed him from the parish post June 21 after the abuse victims went to police.

The boys' mother declined to give a statement Thursday, except to say she was happy with the results so far.

The Pioneer Press generally does not identify victims of sex crimes, and so is not naming the mother of the victims.

Wehmeyer's sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 1.

Emily Gurnon contributed to this report. Urmila Ramakrishnan can be reached at 651-228-5488. Follow her at uramakrishnan15.









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