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Forum Communications, Published August 14 2012

Judge to decide whether minister’s rights violated

PARK RAPIDS, Minn. – A Hubbard County District Court judge will decide if a disgraced lay minister’s constitutional rights against self-incrimination were violated when he admitted to child sexual abuse in two police interviews last spring.

That and a change of venue are the issues that arose Monday at Darwin Schauer’s omnibus hearing.

The former Lake George pastor, 71, is charged with criminal sexual conduct. The omnibus hearing has been postponed numerous times over the objections of the prosecutor in the case.

On Monday, Assistant Hubbard County Attorney Erika Randall put two county officers on the witness stand to counter a defense motion that Schauer granted them two separate interviews in March when he was arrested for the crime.

Both officers testified that Schauer was aware of his rights to remain silent or have an attorney present when he admitted having sexual contact with the victim.

Schauer, a Laporte resident, had been a lay minister at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lake George until 2008.

Defense attorney Tom Kuesel wants the case moved out of Hubbard County due to pretrial publicity.

Schauer has been incarcerated at the Hubbard County Correctional Center since his arrest.