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Retired Priest Sentenced In Abuse of Girl

Jun 4, 2003 | AP

A retired priest was sentenced to a year in jail for molesting a young girl at his church.

The Rev. Donald Rieder will spend at least another 61/2/ months in the Stearns County Jail after being sentenced Tuesday by District Judge Richard Ahles.

Under his plea agreement, Rieder must serve at least eight months before he can be considered for release. He got credit for the time he's served since April 16.

Rieder, who is in his late 70s, wore a jail-issued orange outfit with a dark-blue T-shirt underneath and cupped his right hand to his hearing aid so he could hear the attorneys and the judge.

``I'd just like to offer my sincere apology to anyone I harmed in any way, especially spiritually,'' Rieder said before Ahles imposed the sentence.

The judge also fined Rieder $15,000 and ordered him to submit a DNA sample and to register as a predatory sex offender.

Rieder pleaded guilty earlier this year to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in a deal that avoided a possible prison sentence of nearly three years.

He admitted molesting the girl in the early 1990s at St. John Cantius Church, where he was the parish priest. He admitted touching her on numerous occasions under her clothing and that he did so with sexual intent.

Rieder also admitted molesting three other girls in the mid-1980s two at Cantius and one at her home. Under the plea agreement, Rieder won't be charged with any crimes against those victims.

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