Francis Hoefgen, former priest, charged with criminal sexual conduct in Dakota County

Categories: Crime, Religion
Francis Hoefgen and the old St. Boniface in Hastings that merged with Guardian Angels to become St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Authorities in Dakota County have charged Francis Hoefgen, a 63-year-old former Benedictine priest who served the Twin Cities region, with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.

At a press conference later today, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom and Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer are expected to shed more light on the charges.

See also: Francis Hoefgen: Portrait of an abusive priest

What we do know is that Hoefgen is accused of repeatedly abusing an altar boy at St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton in Hastings between 1989 and 1991. The boy was nine years old when the abuse started, according to Dakota County officials.

The church -- originally two, before merging -- was a revolving door of alleged pedophiles in the 1980s and 1990s who came from St. John's Abbey. They included Father Robert Blumeyer, whose file was released Monday by Jeff Anderson's law firm along with Hoefgen's.

This isn't the first time Hoefgen has been the subject of a criminal investigation. In 1984, he admitted under oath to having given a teenage boy a blowjob. Authorities in Stearns County decided to look the other way.

-- Follow Jesse Marx on Twitter @marxjesse or send tips to

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