Maplewood priest acquitted of sexual misconduct charges

| December 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

Archdiocese’s Ministerial Standards Board to review Father Mark Huberty’s case

A Ramsey County jury on Dec. 8 acquitted Father Mark Huberty of criminal sexual conduct charges against an adult female parishioner.

The woman made the allegations last year when Father Huberty was pastor of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood. He has been on leave from active ministry since September 2013, when the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis first learned of the allegations. The archdiocese cooperated with civil authorities in the investigation and prosecution of this case.

Father Huberty’s attorney, Paul Engh, released a statement after the weeklong trial.

“This was a misunderstanding between two adults. This should never have been charged,” the statement read.

After the verdict, Father Huberty released a statement: “I am relieved. I never understood why the prosecution pursued this so aggressively.

“A lot of unnecessary harm was caused to a lot of people, including to the people of my parish and the complainant herself.

“Now it’s time to heal. It’s been a difficult year away. I’m looking forward to returning to active ministry as a priest.”

When asked about the ministerial future of Father Huberty, Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens said, “We did not go forward with our own internal review to preserve the integrity of the police investigation and the fairness of court proceedings. Rev. Huberty will remain on leave until the archdiocesan Ministerial Standards Board can complete an internal review of this matter.”

The nine-member Ministerial Standards Board is made up of lay people and priests with expertise in family therapy, chemical dependency, mental health, medicine, law and employment issues.

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