Jamestown priest arrested for sexual exploitation

Neil Joseph Pfeifer

Neil Joseph Pfeifer, 48, Jamestown, was arrested in Rugby on Feb. 1 on suspicion of committing sexual exploitation by a therapist in Stutsman County.

According to a statement from the Jamestown Police Department, a report was made from an individual alleging an sexual assault in December, 2022 at St. James Basilica in Jamestown. In the performance of the investigation, it was discovered that the same offender had potentially committed criminal acts in other jurisdictions. The investigation expanded, eventually involving the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Logan County Sheriff’s Office and the Napoleon Police Department.

On Feb. 1, Pfeifer was arrested in Rugby with assistance from the Rugby Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. Pfiefer was taken to the Pierce County Jail, where he awaits formal charges.

Pfeifer was removed from active ministry on Jan. 14 as the Diocese of Fargo investigated allegations of inappropriate conduct. The Diocese has not yet released any updates on that investigation. A statement was released by Fargo Bishop John Folda after the Diocese was informed of the charges against the priest.

“Today I have learned that Father Pfeifer was arrested,” Bishop Folda said in the statement. “Father Pfeifer remains out of ministry as pastor of the Basilica of St. James in Jamestown, St. Margaret Mary in Buchanan, and St. Mathias in Windsor, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, and the Diocese of Fargo is cooperating fully with the investigation. Please pray for all involved.”

Authorities say the investigation into the allegations continues and additional charges are possible. Anyone with any information regarding these incident(s) are encouraged to contact Jamestown Police Sgt. Jason Prochnow at 252-2414 or N.D. BCI Special Agent Troy Kelly at 251-2993.


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