The Catholic Church in the US city of Minneapolis faces criminal charges for turning a blind eye to reports of child abuse by a priest for years.
Prosecutors accused the church authorities of failure to protect children and act on repeated reports of the troubling conduct by Priest Curtis Wehmeyer.
The priest was convicted in 2013 of molesting two brothers and was defrocked and is currently in prison.
John Choi, a Minneapolis attorney, filed the criminal charges against Wehmeyer, accusing him for failing “to protect children” from the abusive priest.
“Today we are alleging a disturbing institutional and systemic pattern of behavior committed by the highest levels of leadership of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis over the course of decades,” said Choi on Friday.
The criminal complaint filed by prosecutors includes six misdemeanor counts against the archdiocese, alleging that it failed to protect children from being raped by Wehmeyer.
Choi said that the archdiocese “turned a blind eye” on the matter, as they waited much too long to report the case to the police, thus giving an opportunity to the priest to destroy evidence.