Jury Acquits Hibbing Priest Accused of Molesting Girls
HIBBING, Minn. (AP) - A jury has acquitted a Hibbing priest accused of molesting four girls.
Jurors deliberated about two hours Monday before finding 30-year-old Brian Lederer not guilty on all counts.
Lederer was facing four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, all felonies.
The alleged incidents happened during the 2014-2015 school year after hours at Assumption Catholic School. Prosecutors said another incident happened at a home and others on a school bus.
Lederer took the witness stand Friday to deny the allegations. Reports say he had no comment after his acquittal.
Defense attorney Peter Wold said the jury reached the right verdict given the evidence. Prosecutor Jeff Vlatkovich called the verdict disappointing, and praised the girls for testifying.