A Twin Cities priest's summer trip with John Nienstedt was about to get excruciatingly uncomfortable.
The priest had joined the then-bishop of New Ulm, Minn., on a visit to Nienstedt's second home, not far from Lake Huron in Michigan. It was July 2004. At the time, the 37-year-old man considered Nienstedt, 20 years his senior, a close platonic friend.
One night, after the two men attended a private event near Detroit, the priest offered to drive the roughly 60 miles home. Nienstedt had drunk too much, he figured.