Report: Wright County Priest Accused of Abuse Wasn't on Archdiocese List

Updated: 12/19/2013 8:54 PM By: Cassie Hart

When the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released of a list of priests accused of sexually abusing minors, it prompted complaints from victims' groups that it was incomplete.
Harry Walsh wasn't on the list of 30 priests. But church documents obtained by Minnesota Public Radio show he'd been accused of molesting a 15-year-old girl and 12-year-old altar boy decades earlier. The archdiocese contributed to a financial settlement for the girl. Nonetheless, two archbishops allowed him to continue working in parishes until the fall of 2011.
Archbishop John Nienstedt asked Pope Benedict last year to defrock Walsh when he learned of the abuse allegations, and Walsh agreed to leave.
The archdiocese says Minnesota law and its own policies at the time did not require the archdiocese to report the decades-old allegations to police.

Walsh now teaches sex education to troubled teenagers and vulnerable adults in Wright County. He signed a two-year, $1,508 a month contract earlier this year, according to public records. He told MPR he never sexually abused children.

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