Insufficient Evidence to Charge Archbishop John Nienstedt in Alleged Groping Incident Reported by Priest

By Dennis Gerhardstein
Office of the Ramsey County Attorney
March 12, 2014

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nsufficient evidence to charge Archbishop John Nienstedt in alleged groping incident reported by priest

Saint Paul – The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office today declined to file charges against Archbishop John Nienstedt in connection with a police report filed by a priest on December 16, 2013.

Saint Paul Police conducted an extensive investigation surrounding an allegation that Archbishop Nienstedt inappropriately touched a juvenile male during a photo session at a confirmation ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Paul on May 5, 2009. Based upon the investigative file presented by police, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office concluded there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Archbishop Nienstedt.

A detailed declination memo written by Assistant Ramsey County Richard Dusterhoft (Criminal Division Director) summarizes the police investigation and articulates the reasons why there is insufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution in this case. A copy of that declination memo is being provided to the public and is attached to this media release.

Today’s announcement only involves one specific prosecutorial decision by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and is limited in scope to this investigative file that was presented by police. The broader police investigation of child sex abuse allegations within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis along with other related allegations remains active and ongoing. By their very nature, these investigations are complex and can often take more time than most law enforcement investigations to complete. As ministers of justice, we will allow the facts to lead the way as the law allows and do what justice requires.








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