Priest Facing Criminal Abuse Charges on Trial in Hastings
HASTINGS (AP) - Prosecutors say a former priest violated the trust of an altar boy 20 years ago in Hastings. But his defense attorney is urging jurors to be wary of one person's recollection in light of the years that have passed.
Sixty-four-year-old Francis Hoefgen is one of a few priests to face criminal charges for allegations of sexual abuse dating back decades, although many others have been accused.
The 36-year-old man who has accused Hoefgen of abusing him at St. Boniface Church in the late 1980s and early 1990s is expected to testify Thursday when the trial resumes in Dakota County.
During opening statements Wednesday, Assistant Dakota County Attorney G. Paul Beaumaster told jurors the church may be gone, but the man's memories of abuse still exist.