Sexual assault case against La Crosse priest dismissed

File photo of Monsignor McGarty from 2005
File photo of Monsignor McGarty from 2005

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A sexual assault case against a La Crosse priest has been dismissed due to the defendant’s age, current health problems, and COVID-19 pandemic.

La Crosse District Attorney Tim Gruenke said Monsignor Bernard McGarty’s age (95) and his current health problems indicate he is not likely to repeat this behavior and given the lengthy delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the State feels it is not necessary to pursue this case.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman accused McGarty of offering her money for sex, trying to kiss her and taking her hand and putting it on his genitals outside the La Crosse Public Library.