A priest who had been charged with criminal sexual misconduct now faces 17 counts of possessing child pornography, Ramsey County authorities said Tuesday.
During the summer of 2010, Wehmeyer allegedly brought two young brothers to his camper trailer, parked in the lot of the church, and showed the boys, then 12 and 14, pornographic movies.
He gave them alcohol and marijuana as he allegedly molested one and exposed himself to the other, according to the complaint filed in late September.
“As the parish priest for this family, the defendant betrayed a sacred trust and forever marred the innocence of two young victims,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said Tuesday. “We will pursue justice for the family, as well as the community.”
After he was arrested in June at the church rectory, Wehmeyer saw the boys’ mother and told her that he intended to plead guilty.
The complaint filed Monday details pornographic images showing nude prepubescent boys alone and engaged in sexual acts with each other.
Investigators allegedly found the videos and photos on the priest’s laptop computer, in a closet in the rectory, while executing a search warrant in July.
Each of the 17 counts is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
The earlier charges are second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of gross misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Wehmeyer was ordained in 2001 and served as associate priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in West St. Paul from 2001 to 2006. Since 2006 he had served at Blessed Sacrament.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement after the September charges were filed, saying it “deeply regrets the pain caused by clergy misconduct or by others within the Church, and is offering its support and assistance to all concerned.”
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