The Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was charged on Friday with multiple counts of failing to protect children in connection with the case of a priest who pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexually abusing children, prosecutors said.
The six gross misdemeanor charges, and a related civil complaint, seek to hold the Archdiocese accountable for the victims' needs for protective services and their delinquency resulting from the conduct, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office said in a statement.
The New York Times reports that much of the controversy surround a former priest named Curtis Wehmeyer, who was dismissed from the priesthood in March. Wehmeyer, who is currently serving prison time in Minnesota, was charged in 2013 for child porn possession and criminal sexual conduct.
"Civil cases against the archdiocese and priests have poured in since 2013, when the Minnesota Legislature passed the Child Victims Act, which opened a three-year window for filing lawsuits involving claims of sexual abuse that were beyond the legal statute of limitations," The Times reported.