Woman says she sought spiritual guidance from Maplewood priest, got seduced instead

Categories: Crime, Religion, Sex
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A woman who went to the Reverend Mark Huberty seeking spiritual guidance wound up in a sexual relationship with the priest instead, according to her account of events.

SEE ALSO: Priest reportedly approached young men at Barnes & Noble, asked, "Are you fucking horny?"

Huberty, a priest at the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood, took a leave of absence last month after the accusations first went public. In Minnesota, it's a crime for a priest to engage in sexual relations with someone "during the course of a meeting in which the [victim] sought or received religious or spiritual advice, or comfort from the [clergy member] in private," so it's possible Huberty could yet face charges.

The Pioneer Press, citing a recently disclosed search warrant affidavit, details how Huberty allegedly seduced the woman after he agreed to become her spiritual advisor in 2011.
The priest continued to counsel the woman while participating in events with her and her family in 2012. In January 2013, Huberty asked to meet with her.

"He explained to her that he was lonely and asked her to be his 'friend.' (She) agreed," the affidavit said. The next day, Huberty set up a private email account and asked her to correspond with him there, rather than on his church account.

They went on "outings," sometimes alone, sometimes with others.

The woman told police that on three or four occasions, Huberty took off his pants and asked her to stimulate him. They went through sexual motions with her clothes remaining on, the affidavit said.

On April 11, the woman and Huberty argued. She recorded a phone conversation between them, in which she says, "And everybody that you have done this with is just darn happily back at the church with you saying Mass?"

Huberty responds, "As far as I know, any people I've been involved with are still fully part of the life of the church, and whatever I've done with them has not caused irreparable harm to their marriages, um," the search warrant affidavit says.
The woman later informed police of the relationship and turned over the pertinent phone and email records.

In an email to the PiPress, Huberty's lawyer, Paul Engh, wrote that the priest "has a markedly different perspective as to what happened." He didn't elaborate.

Just days ago, St. Paul police reopened a child porn investigation involving another Twin Cities priest, the Reverend John Shelley, so it hasn't been a good news cycle for the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, to say the least.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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11 comments
mookeyjoe1
mookeyjoe1

So they got into an argument in Mid April and she went to the police at the begining of May? Hmmmm!

Romic
Romic

Those who don't know Fr. Huberty are assuming the worst. He is still innocent until proven guilty. It wouldn't be unheard of if this woman parishioner tried to seduce him. We don't know until the investigation is completed.

I know of another case in which a woman tried to make out with a different priest. When she didn't get her way she complained to the diocese. She later brought criminal charges. The jury decided because she was getting divorced, and lonely that she was the aggressor.  Snap took this case off their website.These women sound a lot alike.

Patty Reichert Hill
Patty Reichert Hill

When is the church going to make some changes and give some consequences????????????????

Patty Reichert Hill
Patty Reichert Hill

Regardless of being adults, this was abuse of his role...same reason why therapists cannot become involved with their patients...

Edward Bertsch
Edward Bertsch

This is progress. He didn't molest children (well, so far as we know at least)

bryanwade3
bryanwade3

It wasn't the priest , it was the spirit ! it was in him then in her !!!!

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours

Nice change of pace, this story is. Usually priests are molesting boys. #TweetsAreYours

_Joe_
_Joe_

Kinda seems like sexual misconduct is the core of religion these days, huh?

_Joe_
_Joe_

@LMDAonline

Maybe not directly, but seeing as most of this is usually from the top down, you are supporting it financially.  And you're condoning by participation the types of environments that lead to this sort of thing. 

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