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A CATHOLIC priest who pleaded guilty this week to molesting two under-age brothers is banned from "ever exercising priestly ministry," according to a statement from the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis.

Rev Curtis C Wehmeyer, 48, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to 20 counts, including one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and 17 counts of possessing child porn. He did not receive a plea bargain.

He is due to be sentenced in February.

He admitted in court that two years ago he molested two brothers, then 12 and 14, in a camper parked at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in St Paul. He was the parish pastor at the time and lived there.

Wehmeyer plied the boys with alcohol and marijuana and showed them pornography. He admitted to touching one boy's genitals more than once, exposing himself to the other and masturbating in front of them.

The church removed him as pastor in June when the allegations came to light. He was ordained in 2001 and previously worked at St Joseph Catholic Church in West St Paul from 2001 to 2006, when he went to work at Blessed Sacrament.

Wehmeyer will remain a priest, but cannot perform any duties of the church.

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