MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A jury in northern Minnesota acquitted a former priest Monday in a case where he was accused of molesting four girls.
The jurors deliberated for two hours before finding 30-year-old Brian Lederer not guilty on four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The Hibbing Daily Tribune reports that Lederer was accused of touching the girls’ groins, bottoms and breasts during the 2014-2015 school year at Assumption School, where he worked. The incidents allegedly took place on a school bus and once at a home.
Lederer, the former priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish and Assumption Catholic School in Hibbing, was the lone witness in his defense on Friday.
His attorney said the jury reached the right verdict, as the state’ evidence “did not hang well,” the newspaper reported.
The four girls as well as their parents testified during the trial.
The prosecutor said they are disappointed in the verdicts, but “respect the work of the jury.”
Meanwhile, Lederer still faces a felony charge of possession of a pornographic work, which he pleaded not guilty to last year.