Woman accuses North Dakota priest of abuse

Texas

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A woman who says she was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest in North Dakota is filing a civil complaint against her alleged accuser for assault and against the Fargo Diocese for allegedly failing to protect her.

Kateri (kah-TARE’-ee) Marion choked back tears at a news conference describing the alleged abuse by the Rev. Michael Wight of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Belcourt, located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in northeastern North Dakota. One allegation is that Wight tried to touch her sexually during confession.

Fargo Diocese spokesman Paul Braun says the dicocese was notified about the allegations in July 2016 and contacted the Belcourt Police Department the same day. Braun says two days later the diocese removed Wight from ministry.

Wight had been assigned to St. Ann’s from the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in Corpus Christi, Texas, and began his work in North Dakota in February 2016. The Texas church, which is also named in the lawsuit, did not return messages seeking comment.

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