Former St. Cloud priest sentenced to 3 years in prison for sexual abuse

Former St. Cloud priest sentenced to 3 years in prison for sexual abuse

Updated: July 08, 2020 03:22 PM
Created: July 08, 2020 03:11 PM

A former St. Cloud priest was sentenced to prison Wednesday for sexual abuse of someone who sought spiritual help from him in 2013 and 2014.

The Stearns County Attorney's Office said 54-year-old Anthony Joseph Oelrich was sentenced to 41 months in prison for third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He pleaded guilty to the charge last year.


According to a criminal complaint, Oelrich was a priest in St. Cloud affiliated with the Newman Center when the victim sought spiritual guidance from him in December 2013. At that time, the victim disclosed being sexually abused during a prior relationship.

St. Cloud priest charged with criminal sexual conduct

The complaint states that, following her disclosure, Oelrich contacted the victim to ask questions about the abuse and console the victim.

The victim told investigators that Oelrich exposed himself on one occasion and that she made it clear she was scared and wouldn't have sex with Oelrich.

The victim also described later instances where Oelrich exposed himself and asked the victim to touch him, and noted that he'd come to her house and tuck her into bed, sometimes staying with her until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., the complaint states.

According to the complaint, the Oelrich also invited the victim to the church rectory beginning in 2014 and suggested they have intercourse on several occasions for months. The victim told police she and Oelrich had engaged in sexual intercourse.

In addition to the prison term, Oelrich will also have to register as a predatory offender.

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