(SALINA, Kan.) — A Salina priest accused of sexual battery pleads guilty to a lesser charge.
Father Allen Scheer was arrested in April, accused of touching an adult male inappropriately. At that time he pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual battery.
Our news partners at The Salina Journal report Scheer pleaded guilty Friday to a lesser charge of misdemeanor battery. Scheer was scheduled for trial in the case Wednesday.
Scheer had presided over Salina's Sacred Heart Cathedral since 2005. He was placed on administrative leave after the charges in April.
On the Salina Diocese website, Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger issued the following statement:
"Approximately three months ago Reverend Allen Scheer was charged with a misdemeanor crime of sexual battery. Earlier today Father Scheer pled no contest to the lesser crime of misdemeanor battery. It grieves me to learn that Father Scheer may have undertaken an activity that was illegal as well as inconsistent with our faith. However, I appreciate his acceptance of responsibility.
It is my hope that the Church can be a source of healing for anyone who may have been harmed by this incident. Father Scheer will be provided emotional and spiritual assistance. Father Scheer's possible return to ministry will be determined in time following evaluation by healthcare professionals and Diocesan leadership.
Without minimizing the importance of the issues it is significant to recall that our Church found its origins among men who each, in his own way, betrayed the Lord. And yet, with repentance and God's grace, we sinners continue to be made into saints. In that spirit I ask the prayers of all that this act of justice may be balanced with forgiveness, healing, and renewal."