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Police: Insufficient evidence for case against parish employee

Police say there was insufficient evidence to submit a case to prosecutors Wednesday in relation to an employee removed from a St. Joseph parish.

Posted: Nov 13, 2019 3:42 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2019 8:53 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Police say there was insufficient evidence to submit a case to prosecutors Wednesday in relation to an employee removed from a St. Joseph parish.

The employee was removed from their position at the St. Francis-Xavier parish and any other Diocesan location as a result of an investigation into whether the employee crossed boundaries with a minor, diocese officials said.

KQ2 is not naming the employee because no criminal charges have been filed.

A case was referred to the St. Joseph Police Department and assigned to investigators on July 16, said SJPD’s spokesperson Capt. Jeff Wilson. On Oct. 24, the case became “inactive” because there was insufficient evidence to submit the case to the Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph conducted its own investigation and as a result decided not to reinstate the employee, according to a statement published in the St. Francis-Xavier Nov. 4 newsletter.

The Office of Child and Youth Protection (OCYP) was created as part of a larger effort to protect and investigate any accusations of child sexual abuse and boundary violations with a minor against an agent of the Church.

Carrie Cooper, the director of OCYP, said the employee was removed from the parish position because they crossed boundaries with a minor.

Cooper said she could not comment on whether OCYP referred the case to law enforcement but she said if there are any suspicions of criminal conduct its standard procedure to forward those allegations to law enforcement.

She also could not say whether the employee’s actions happened on or off of the parish’s property but did say the individual was employed by the parish and not St. Francis-Xavier school.

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