Archdiocese: Priest Abuse Victim Later Killed Wife, Committed Suicide

By Tony Kennedy
Star Tribune
April 1, 2014

In one of the cases, the victim later killed his wife and then himself.

Local Catholic church officials have released new details about a pair of abusive priests showing that one priest was accused of sexually abusing a brain-injured woman and another sexually abused a boy who did not want his community to know what happened.

That victim later killed himself and his wife in a murder-suicide, the church said.

The disclosures are part of a lawsuit in Ramsey County Court that is also compelling Archbishop John Nienstedt and former Vicar General Kevin McDonough to testify under oath about a wide range of cases over decades where the archdiocese learned of abuses by priests and reinstalled them into ministry without warning parishioners.

“This release is the first of several that will happen in the coming weeks,’’ the archdiocese said in a statement Monday night.

The new details center on incidents that happened decades ago involving the Rev. Paul Palmitessa and the Rev. Kenneth LaVan. The archdiocese also released documents pertaining to previously reported abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer and the Rev. John Michael Stevens.

In August 1990, an adult male reported to the archdiocese that Palmitessa had sexually abused him in 1982, when he was a boy. The statement said the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office investigated the abuse when it occurred, but that the victim chose not to pursue charges or tell the archdiocese “because he did not want his community to know about the abuse.’’








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