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Former priest charged with abuse

HASTINGS, Minn. — A former Catholic priest in Hastings was charged Wednesday in Dakota County with sexual abuse, County Attorney James Backstrom said.

Francis Hoefgen was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with allegations that he “repeatedly sexually abused a former altar boy at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hastings from the spring of 1989 to the fall of 1991,” according to a news release issued by Backstrom. During the time of the alleged abuse, the boy was between 9 and 12 years old.

The alleged victim reported the abuse to Hastings police in November.

The sexual abuse consisted of acts of “oral penetration, anal penetration and touching of (the victim’s) genitals,” according to the criminal complaint.

Hoefgen, 63, is living in Columbia Heights, Minnesota.

He served at St. Boniface in Cold Spring from 1980 until 1984. While in Cold Spring, Minnesota, he admitted to sexually abusing a boy. He was sent to Maryland for treatment and then, less than a year after returning to Minnesota, he came to Hastings.

Hoefgen was removed from the ministry in 2002 and left the St. John’s Benedictine order in 2012.

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