The first court hearing in Ramsey County’s criminal case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been postponed to Oct. 29.
Ramsey County District Judge Teresa Warner issued the order Friday to reschedule next week’s hearing. It’s the third time the hearing has been postponed since the original June 24 court date.
In June, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi charged the archdiocese with “failure to protect children,” stemming from its lack of oversight of former priest Curtis Wehmeyer.
Wehmeyer was found guilty of sexually abusing two boys in 2010, at times plying them with alcohol and showing them pornography. Some of the incidents occurred in a trailer he parked near the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul, where he was pastor.
The archdiocese failed to protect the boys despite “numerous and repeated reports of troubling conduct by Curtis Wehmeyer,” Choi said at the time.
Last week, a Wisconsin court found Wehmeyer guilty of abusing a boy on a camping trip and sentenced him to another three years in prison.
The archdiocese did not provide information on why it requested a later date.
Archbishop Bernard Hebda issued a statement saying: “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis continues working with the Ramsey County attorney’s office. Our goal remains the same: to make sure children are safe in our churches and communities.”
Advocates for victims of clergy abuse are disappointed with the hearing delays.
“For 30 years they [the archdiocese] have avoided telling the truth,” charged victim’s advocate Bob Schwiderski. “Now when our courts are asking them to tell the truth, they are avoiding court appearance for the third time. The pattern doesn’t change.”