Mountain Home priest accused of rape won’t face new trial for now

Mountain Home priest accused of rape won’t face new trial for now

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MOUNTAIN HOME — A priest accused of raping an intoxicated man who was renting a room from him will not face a new trial for now, and the Diocese of Boise says he will not be given any new assignment, but his status within the Roman Catholic Church is still not decided.

The Rev. Victor Franz Jagerstatter’s trial in 2017 was declared a mistrial after the jury could not reach a unanimous decision. At the time, prosecutors said that one juror refused to deliberate the verdict. After the mistrial, the alleged victim was deployed on military duty, and in July 2018, the charge was dismissed without prejudice, meaning there won’t be an immediate retrial, but the possibility remains open down the road.

At the time of the rape charge, Jagerstatter was a priest at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mountain Home.

The airman at Mountain Home Air Force Base told police that he went home intoxicated after a party in July 2016, fell asleep fully clothed, and then awoke partially undressed, according to previous Statesman reporting. The airman told police that he did not give permission for any sexual contact, according to court documents.

Multiple calls by the Statesman to the Elmore County Prosecutor’s Office last week to ask about the case were not returned.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise still has Jagerstatter listed as being on administrative leave, and he no longer appears on the diocese website. Spokesman Gene Fadness said Jagerstatter is not living in church property.

“Technically, he remains a priest at this moment, but he has not been given a new assignment, nor will he be in the future,” Fadness told the Statesman in an email.

A decision on whether Jagerstatter will be disciplined within the Catholic Church has not been made, but the Diocese of Boise sought advice from the Vatican.

“The Congregation for Clergy in Rome was informed of the case and the gravity of the allegations against Jagerstatter,” Fadness said in the email. “We sought their direction in how to proceed and received that last fall, and, after their guidance, submitted all the necessary documents. Because this is an ongoing matter, we are unable to comment further at this time until the issue is settled.”


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