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Jury Convicts Minn. Priest Of Sexual Misconduct

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(credit: Ramsey County Jail)

(credit: Ramsey County Jail)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A jury has convicted a Roman Catholic priest of sexual misconduct involving a woman he was counseling at a St. Paul church.

Jurors Tuesday convicted the Rev. Christopher Wenthe of Delano on one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Wenthe was convicted of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with the victim in late 2003, when she sought spiritual counseling. He was acquitted of a second charge that he engaged in continuing illegal sexual conduct with the woman until February 2005.

The Star Tribune reports that Wenthe testified he had a sexual relationship with the woman but denied providing spiritual aid when the sex occurred.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 14.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis says it regrets the woman’s “pain and suffering” and continues to offer her assistance.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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