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Appeals Court Orders New Trial for St. Paul Priest

Updated: 04/07/2014 8:58 PM
Created: 04/07/2014 1:11 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart

The Minnesota Appeals Court is reversing a sexual misconduct conviction and ordering a new trial for a St. Paul priest accused of having sex with a woman seeking spiritual advice.
    
The Appeals Court says the lower court made several errors during Christopher Wenthe's trial.
    
Wenthe was convicted in 2011 of third-degree criminal sexual conduct after a woman reported a relationship with the priest that happened years earlier.
    
The Appeals Court says the trial judge should have told jurors they had to unanimously agree on a single meeting during which the crime occurred. In addition, prosecutors had to prove Wenthe knew the meeting had a religious purpose.
    
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi calls the decision "a tough one to accept." Wenthe's attorney says the priest is thankful for the court's decision.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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