May 19, 2005

Ex-priest guilty of sex offense, theft

Pioneer Press

Pioneer Press

A former Roman Catholic priest from St. Paul was convicted Thursday of sexual misconduct and theft involving a former church employee and parishioner.

After a weeklong trial and a day of deliberations, a Hennepin County jury found John Joseph Bussmann, 51, guilty of two felony counts of theft, one count of sexual misconduct and one count of indecent exposure.

Bussmann also is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two other female parishioners. Those cases are scheduled to go to trial in July.

All of the incidents reportedly involve women Bussmann counseled at St. Walburga in Fletcher, Minn., and St. Marin in Rogers, Minn. The parishes later merged to form Mary Queen of Peace in Rogers.

Bussmann, who was ordained in 1980, was removed as a priest in March 2003.

Posted by kshaw at May 19, 2005 04:43 AM