MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 33-year-old ordained Catholic priest currently assigned to a diocese in California faces charges of criminal sexual conduct in connection to an incident in Mendota Heights.
According to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, Jacob Andrew Bertrand has been charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection to the alleged sexual penetration of a woman in June or July of 2010.
According to the criminal complaint, the sexual conduct occurred while Bertrand was providing a private mass for the victim in the basement of her parent’s home in Mendota Heights.
“It is a felony under Minnesota law for any member of the clergy to have sexual relations with an individual who is not their spouse, during the course of a meeting in which religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort is given, or while ongoing religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort is occurring,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said.
If convicted, Bertrand faces up to 15 years per charge and/or a $30,000 maximum fine.
Bertrand will make his first court appearance Monday, Oct. 10.