Chad Legare

Man nearly kills priest in vicious attack after his girlfriend claimed she was raped: Cops

Authorities in North Dakota say a Minnesota man killed a priest he believed had sexually abused his girlfriend.

According to Fox News, 42-year-old Chad Legare allegedly attacked Rev. Robert Wapenski last month.

Reports indicate that weeks before the attack, the suspect alerted police to his girlfriend’s alleged rape by forwarding text messages.

Legare and the unidentified woman reportedly met online and began dating about a month prior to that report.

He reportedly traveled to Anamoose, North Dakota, where he killed Wapenski at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Jan. 30.

The priest was publicly identified by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo, as police did not initially identify either the victim or Legare’s girlfriend.

According to the diocese, the woman denied any such rape in conversation with church officials. Police note that her testimony changed as she spoke to investigators regarding the allegations.

An affidavit in the case indicates that police interviewed the woman for a welfare check on Jan. 15, at which time she denied any claims that the priest sexually assaulted her.

The following day, however, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Craig Zachmeier said the woman began making the allegations again, telling her boyfriend that she had been raped.

Legare faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and burglary. In court for a bond hearing this week, he accused the victim of being a rapist.

As KFYR reported, he could spend 35 years behind bars if convicted of all felony charges against him.

[Featured image: Chad Legare/McHenry County Police]