St. Paul Police Commander Mary Nash is engaged in one of the most offensive religious profiling actions in recent history, and the fact that the Department is allowing her to continue is equally obscene. On October 17, she made a public plea asking anyone who at one time or another had been a victim of sexual abuse by a priest to come forward and report his case to the police. She did not ask if anyone had been molested by a minister, rabbi, imam, teacher, athletic coach, psychologist, social worker, stepfather, mother’s boyfriend, police officer, or anyone else—just priests.
Nash, a former Catholic, says she is simply following up on a case involving a priest who may have had child pornography on his computer in 2004. The priest was investigated, and after no evidence was found, the case was closed. Now the case has been reopened because new evidence has allegedly been found.
No one objects to reopening a case, but to use this incident as an opportunity to zero in on priests alone is indefensible. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has expressed its willingness to cooperate with the police, and we commend them for doing so. What is not acceptable is for the police department to engage in religious profiling. This witch hunt should be called off immediately.
Contact St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith: Tom.Smith@ci.stpaul.mn.us