Sources: Police Reopen Investigation into Former Minn. Priest
By Jay Kolls
November 13, 2013
Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS officials at the Archdiocese are part of a criminal investigation by St. Paul Police, including Archbishop John Nienstedt and former Vicar-General Father Peter Laird.
We are told the investigation, in part, involves possible child pornography on a computer used by former priest John Shelley.
St. Paul Police closed their case into the child pornography when they could not find enough evidence to charge Shelley. But, sources tell KSTP, police are looking at "everything" connected to the case, including possible obstruction of justice, failure to report possible sexual abuse as required by the state's mandatory reporting statute and possible child endangerment.
Attorneys for the Archdiocese issued a statement that says, "The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is aware that St. Paul Police have reopened their investigation into the Fr. Jon Shelley case. We will cooperate fully, as we did in the police's previous 7-month investigation that found no evidence of child pornographic material. We take very seriously matters of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. We encourage anyone who has been a victim of such sexual abuse to report it to police and to the Archdiocese."
St. Paul Police issued a statement that does not confirm or deny any investigation but says, in part, they are exploring all possibilities and they will go down any path where the investigation leads.