Moments to cherish in a small town, the little war on the prairie, too few gin joints on the Oil Patch, what is lupus, and about that Mauer kid.
The curse of high expectations hit Jack Taylor last night. The Grinnell, Iowa college hoops player hit 138 points in his last game. But last night he could only score 21 in a loss, becoming just another kid from Grinnell.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has apparently narrowed the ability of prosecutors to try clergy charged with having sexual relationships with people who seek religious or spiritual advice.
The court ordered a new trial for Christopher Wenthe, a priest who was convicted last year of having sex with a 21-year old woman. A jury convicted him of sexual assault under Minnesota's third degree sexual conduct statute, which contains this clause in the definitions:
the sexual penetration occurred during a period of time in which the complainant was meeting on an ongoing basis with the actor to seek or receive religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort in private. Consent by the complainant is not a defense;
But the prosecutor in the case, in attempting to show Wenthe held power over the woman, introduced the Roman Catholic Church's doctrine on the religious authority of priests, chastity, and the church's "moral prohibition on engaging in sexual reltionships." The prosecutor also provided testimony from a church staff member about the archdiocese's "emphasis on maintaining boundaries with parishioners."
That's too much religion, the Court of Appeals said, noting it "presents a serious risk of excessive government entanglement" in religion. It said the prosecutor provided the jury with "religious standards for judging (Wenthe's) conduct. "It invited the jury to determine appellant's guilt on the basis of his violation of Roman Catholic doctrine, his breaking of the priestly vows of celibacy, and his abuse of the spiritual authority bestowed on Roman Catholic priests."
Wenthe was charged in the incidents that took place while he was serving at Nativity of Our Lord in St. Paul. At the time of his arrest, he was pastor of the Delano Catholic Community.3 Comments)
Old school policing is apparently dead.
In Rhode Island, it's reported today, cops are under investigation for the way they treated the kids who were apparently involved in damaging a mailbox.
After a carload of suspect teenagers was stopped, the cops made the miscreants do pushups as penance for their crime.
And the local TV station treated the story like the second coming of the Rodney King beatings.
The mayor of the city where the incident took place wants the cops suspended for "taking the law into their own hands."
Here's the play-by-play of last week's killing of two teenagers by a man in Little Falls, as described by the Morrison County sheriff. (h/t: Brainerd Dispatch)
"If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again," Byron David Smith, 64, of Little Falls, told investigators.(13 Comments)