Statute May Have Tolled on Some Minnesota Priest Abuse Cases

September 11, 2014

A county attorney in Minnesota says some allegations of priest abuse may be too old to prosecute.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi says the statute of limitations in 10 cases of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests will be a barrier to prosecution, unless a loophole can be found.

St. Paul police have been investigating claims of clergy abuse involving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A series of lawsuits have been filed against the archdiocese because of a change in state law which allows the litigation for claims dating back decades.

Choi tells the Star Tribune he expects to announce charging decisions in about a month in the 10 cases. Choi says his staff will soon begin focusing on what church leaders knew about the allegations of abuse, when they knew it and how they responded.

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