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Continued: St. Paul police fault archdiocese's handling of priest before arrest in abuse case

  • Article by: TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 15, 2013 - 9:31 AM

Investigators were also frustrated by the church’s removal of Wehmeyer’s work computer and a pistol from the parish office.

Nash said the computer was considered evidence, and removing it from Wehmeyer’s residence was a clear break in the legal chain of custody that prosecutors must prove in disputed cases. Reports show that a lawyer for the archdiocese surrendered the computer to a police investigator four days after it was taken from Wehmeyer.

A law enforcement source said it was especially aggravating for police to know that Vomastek was involved. He was once in charge of police training in St. Paul and knew better, the source said.

When police searched Wehmeyer’s church residence after his arrest, they found an IBM ThinkPad computer in a closet. Police discovered that it belonged to Wehmeyer and was loaded with child porn. Police did not find the marijuana that Wehmeyer’s victims told police he had smoked during episodes of abuse, the source said.

In the time between the church officials’ visit and his arrest, Wehmeyer moved his portable camper to a private storage facility in Oakdale.

Police reports say Wehmeyer dropped it off about 1 p.m., just hours after he was confronted by McDonough. The manager told police that Wehmeyer returned to the trailer about 9:30 a.m. the next day and asked to go in it.

Police arrived about an hour later and confiscated the camper, which was clean inside and contained a portable television/DVD player but hardly anything else.

A few hours later, Wehmeyer was arrested at a friend’s house.

 

Tony Kennedy • 612-673-4213

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  • Father Kevin McDonough, left, in a 2002 file photo.

  • Curtis Wehmeyer

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