MN- Predator priest escapes justice

For immediate release: Monday, April 7, 2014

Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180,

Our hearts ache for the victim of Fr. Christopher Wenthe who has been hurt again today by this depressing court ruling 

We strongly urge Ramsey County prosecutors to re-try this case.  

Today's ruling is another painful reminder why it's so critical that every single person who sees, suspects or suffers clergy sex crimes speak up. Had Fr. Wenthe faced two or three or four of his victims in court, he likely would have pled guilty. Instead, as happens so often in these cases, he and his expensive lawyers found a legal loophole to evade justice.

But it's not too late. We beg everyone with knowledge of or suspicions about Fr. Wenthe to call police, protect others and start healing. 

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell,, Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata (952-471-3422, Meuers of Plymouth (952-334-5180,  

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  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-04-07 14:58:31 -0500
    I find equally depressing, the fact that there are such attorneys who represent these criminals and achieve such goals as having their convictions overturned. I can’t imagine any honorable reason any lawyer would do such things. And, I found this lawyer’s parting comments as reported in the Star Tribune article particularly disturbing: (“Engh, who represents several priests accused of sexual misconduct, said the ruling has broad implications for all the cases.”)

    “He already has served his time and is not a practicing priest, his lawyer Paul Engh said. Wenthe also is currently required to register as a sex offender, but this ruling would negate that. Engh said his client would like to get back into the priesthood. “It’s his chosen profession,” Engh said.

    Engh said Wenthe can’t be sentenced to any more time. If he were given a new trial and convicted, his only punishment would be the requirement that he register as a predatory sex offender.

    Engh, who represents several priests accused of sexual misconduct, said the ruling has broad implications for all the cases."

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