MN--Victims: “Prosecutors should now seek porn charges against priest”

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home,

Now that Fr. Brian Lederer has escaped responsibility for his other child sex crimes, we urge prosecutors to renew their child pornography case against him. That’s the best way to keep this predators away from his prey.

The Duluth News Tribune reported yesterday that “Authorities also charged Lederer with possession of child pornography after recovering images of suspected child pornography from his computer. . “ and “Lederer could ‘potentially’ still be prosecuted on that pornography charge,” according to prosecutors.

We firmly believe this is a crucial step toward ensuring the safety of kids in the Duluth area.

We also believe that Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba should should turn over Fr. Lederer’s full personnel file to law enforcement agencies every place where the priest worked. He should personally visit every parish where Fr. Lederer ever was, even briefly, and beg anyone who may have information or suspicions about him to call police or prosecutors. He should send the same message through church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements across the whole diocese.

This isn’t rocket science. These aren’t expensive, controversial or unprecedented moves. They are the least that a caring shepherd should do in this situation.

And if he refuses, priests and other church employees in northern Minnesota should step up and do all they can to seek out others who may have been hurt by Fr. Lederer.

Our hearts ache for the four girls and their families who have helped police and prosecutors pursue an accused child molesting cleric, Fr. Lederer. They must be terribly distraught that he’s been deemed “not guilty.”

We hope more who were victimized by Fr. Lederer come forward so that he might face more charges and eventually be kept away from kids.

Often, predatory preachers, ministers and rabbis get top notch defense lawyers and exploit legal technicalities and get off scot-free. The best remedy in these tragic cases is for others with information or suspicions about the offender to summon up some strength and call law enforcement. We hope that happens here.

No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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 (314-503-0003 cell,


Minnesota priest found not guilty in sexual abuse case

By John Myers Today at 2:17 p.m.

HIBBING — Catholic Priest Brian Lederer was found not guilty Monday of all six charges against him of inappropriately touching young girls.

A jury of six men and six women deliberated less than two hours before returning the verdict in State District Court after a four-day trial.

Lederer, 30, the former priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish and Assumption Catholic School in Hibbing, was charged in May, 2015 with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charges stem from allegations by four girls, age 11-13 at the time, that Lederer touched them inappropriately.

The most serious charges against Lederer carried  . . . 

Read full article here

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