April 03, 2006

Pastor acquitted in sexual abuse trial

The Free Press

By Mickey Tibbits
The Free Press

A former Waseca pastor has been found not guilty of all 10 charges of sexual abuse of a minor.

A jury announced the verdict in the trial of Paul Stambaugh in the Waseca County courthouse late Friday afternoon after deliberating for about six hours.

The 10 felony charges, both first and second degree, were based on incidents described in the criminal complaint by the juvenile, who was then 13 years old, while Stambaugh was the pastor at Faith United Methodist Church, on the west side of Clear Lake, and also a resident of Waseca.

Stambaugh, 58, retired in July 2004 after serving as pastor of Faith United Methodist Church for four years. Currently a Kasson resident, Stambaugh had served in the ministry for more than 30 years.

“We are delighted with the decision,” said Richard Tollefson, Stambaugh’s attorney. “The jury reached the correct decision.”

Posted by kshaw at April 3, 2006 01:28 PM