Former parish employee arrested after abuse allegation

| September 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

Mitchell Bolkcom, a former employee and volunteer at St. Michael in Prior Lake, was arrested Sept. 15 by Bloomington Police and charged in Hennepin County with criminal sexual conduct after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. He was released from jail with conditions Sept. 20 on $50,000 bail.

At the time of the alleged abuse, Bolkcom, 23, was the director of middle school and adult faith formation at St. Michael. He left the parish in May. At the time of his arrest, he was working for FOCUS — the Fellowship of Catholic University Students — at the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

In a letter to St. Michael parishioners posted on its website Sept. 18, Father Tom Walker, pastor, said that while Bolkcom was an employee at the time the alleged abuse occurred — earlier in 2016 — the alleged victim was not believed to be a parishioner.

In a Sept. 18 statement, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said it had learned of the arrest Sept. 17 and that it is cooperating with law enforcement.

Tim O’Malley, the archdiocese’s director of the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, said anyone with information should contact police.

On Sept. 19, FOCUS said it placed Bolkcom on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation.

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Category: Local News