Release of abusive priest raises concerns

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ST. LOUIS, MO –A former priest who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a child is free after 12 years in prison, and advocates for victims of clergy abuse say they are worried about what could happen next.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( ) reports that 49-year-old Gary Wolken was released Monday from the state prison in Cameron, Missouri.

Victims’ advocates say the Archdiocese of St. Louis has a responsibility to protect the public.

The archdiocese says in a statement that Wolken is no longer a priest and will be subject to all sex offender regulations. It also encourages anyone wishing to report misconduct with a minor to contact clergy, church or archdiocese personnel, or police.

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