Former Benedictine priest acquitted of sex abuse charges

| June 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

A jury found a former Benedictine priest who has served in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis not guilty of two counts of criminal sexual conduct May 26 in Hastings. Francis Hoefgen, 64, was tried in Dakota County on felony charges of child sex abuse that allegedly took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings where he was an associate priest until 1992, according to the archdiocese. Hoefgen pleaded not guilty. In 1985, Hoefgen, then a member of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, began serving at St. Boniface in Hastings. The parish merged with Guardian Angels to become St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in 1987.

Hoefgen is among priests named by the archdiocese as having “claims of substantiated abuse against them.” According to St. John’s Abbey, he was permanently removed from ministry in 2002 and laicized in 2011.

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