WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published Thursday, November 07, 2013

ap news
Minn. court upholds clergy sex-misconduct law

The Associated Press - ST. PAUL, Minn.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld a state law that deems it a felony for clergy members to have sex with people they're advising on spiritual matters.

The court on Wednesday reversed a state Court of Appeals ruling granting a new trial to Catholic priest Christopher Wenthe (WHEN'-thee).

In 2011, Wenthe was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for having sex with a woman when she sought spiritual counseling.

In a two-part ruling, the Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that Minnesota's clergy sexual conduct statute is constitutional, and that religion was not excessively entangled in Wenthe's conviction.

The Star Tribune ( http://bit.ly/1ba4nMS) reports Justice Alan Page dissented on both counts. Page reasoned that the state law is unconstitutional.

The case was sent back to the Court of Appeals to resolve other issues.

___

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Copyright © 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.