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Pewaukee Pastor charged with sexual assault makes appearance in court

WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Waukesha County priest charged with sexually assaulting a child says he's innocent. 

Father Charles Hanel made his initial court appearance Monday morning. 

He's been with Queen of Apostles Church in Pewaukee since 2014. According to a  criminal complaint, a 13-year-old girl says Father Hanel touched her inappropriately inside a confessional last December. 

The church immediately reported the incident to the Sheriff's Office. After the hearing, the 61-year-old Hanel denied any wrongdoing and said he's praying for his accuser. 

"I am dumbfounded and heartbroken to be accused of harming a child. I have never hurt or abused a minor in my over 35 years of priesthood nor have I ever contemplated doing so," Father Charles Hanel said. 

Hanel's next court appearance is a preliminary hearing scheduled for November 30th. 


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