According to a complaint filed in La Crosse County Circuit Court, a Wisconsin priest is being accused of sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl outside of a hotel.
Being accused of a sex crime can have very serious consequences. Not only can it result in a criminal record, the social ramifications can impact a person's life. These types of allegations often stay with the person, making it more difficult personally as well as professionally.
Witnesses claim that the man was drunk and approached a group of teens, saying he was a lawyer. He then put his arm around one girl's shoulder before allegedly touching her inappropriately. He went into the hotel but not before one of the teenagers took a picture of him with her phone. Police found him later; he was attending a canon law conference.
According to investigators, the man admitted to having a few drinks before running into the group of teenagers. But he claims that the only thing he did with them was talk. Though he tried to convince investigators that the sexual assault allegations were unfounded, he was subsequently arrested.
The man is already dealing with the affects of the sexual assault charges. He had been the director of a program at a Catholic seminary but was forced to resign. According to the church, the resignation was necessary because of the criminal charges that had been filed against him.
The man's next court appearance is later this month. And even though he has not been convicted of the crime nor has he pled guilty, he is already reaping the consequences of the accusations against him.
Source: La Crosse Tribune: "Priest charged with assault on teen," Anne Jungen, Aug. 11, 2011.