By Ryan Gueningsman
RAMSEY COUNTY, MN Former Delano Catholic Community priest Rev. Christopher Wenthe, 47, was sentenced Wednesday for one count of third-degree criminal sexual misconduct in a Ramsey County court.
Wenthe received a stayed prison sentence of four years and nine months, was ordered to serve one year in the Ramsey County workhouse, and fined $30,000 for his conviction on the charge, according to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
The judge ordered Wenthe to pay up to $90,000 in restitution for the cost of the victim’s medical treatment, and to start serving his workhouse confinement immediately.
Wenthe will also be placed on probation for 15 years and must register as a predatory offender, according to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
Wenthe was convicted of a charge that alleged he engaged in illegal sexual conduct with the victim in November or December 2003, during a time when she sought spiritual advice and counsel from him, according to the attorney’s office.
He was acquitted of a second charge that he engaged in continuing illegal sexual conduct with the victim until February 2005. Wenthe was working at Nativity Church in St. Paul at the time.
Wenthe came to Delano in May 2009. He was ordained May 31, 2003, and prior to coming to Delano, Wenthe worked at Nativity in St. Paul, St. Michael’s in Pine Island, St. Paul’s in Zumbrota, and St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s in Stillwater, according to newspaper archives.
He was arrested Feb. 17.