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St. Cloud Priest arrested for alleged sexual assault

St. Cloud Priest arrested for alleged sexual assault Click to Enlarge

ST CLOUD (KNSI/AP) - Police have arrested a 51-year-old priest from the Diocese of St. Cloud on sexual assault charges.

St. Cloud police say they began investigating Anthony Joseph Oelrich, of St. Cloud, last year after a woman said she had a sexual relationship in 2013 and 2014.

The victim told authorities she began seeing Oelrich for spiritual advice.

State law prohibits a member of the clergy from engaging in a sexual relationship with someone under their guidance.

He was arrested Tuesday and taken to the Stearns County Jail and is being held pending charges of felony 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct.

Oelrich worked at the Christ Church Newman Center on the St. Cloud State University.

He has also served at Sacred Heart Parish in Sauk Rapids and the Cathedral of St. Mary in St. Cloud.

Bishop Donald Kettler placed Oelrich on administrative leave and suspended him from acting as a priest pending the outcome of his case.

If anyone has any more information, or would like to talk with an investigator about similar situations, please contact the St. Cloud Police Department at 320-251-1200.

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