Priest On Leave After Allegations Of Inappropriate Conduct
The investigation surrounds Father Sam Wagner, who was assigned to the Cathedral parish from June 2014 to June 2016.
In July, Wagner then moved back to his home parish, St. Mary's Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye where he served as a delegated pastor.
He also was assigned to serve as parochial vicar in the Divine Mercy Area Faith Community, Japanese Martyrs in Leavenworth, St. Michael Morgan, and St. Paul in Comfrey.
"It's an allegation that the church brought out. This isn't something that law enforcement brought out and the church has made it public and because of that that's why we're getting calls today. If there are charges then a formal complaint will be drawn and then obviously everybody has access to that because it's public information," New Ulm Police Department Senior Investigator, Jeff Hohensee said.
This in connection with the time period Father Wagner was assigned to the Cathedral Parish in New Ulm.
"What I can say is that like everything he's considered innocent until he's proven guilty. I'm going to do this investigation exactly the same way that I do every investigation that involves a sexual inappropriate conduct," Hohensee said.
The Diocese of New Ulm says Wagner's placement on leave aligns with the diocese misconduct allegation policy.
"I will say that the church is cooperating and that all I am is a finder of facts and I run everything that I have from my investigation to the Brown County attorney's office and if he feels at the end of the investigation that there's significant probable cause for an arrest then an arrest will be made," Hohensee said.
No other details have been released.
--KEYC News 12