Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Duluth priest's abuse trial likely a first under Child Victims Act after removal of statue of limitations

Jury selection began Monday in a clergy sex abuse lawsuit against the Diocese of Duluth, marking what attorneys say is the first such a case to go to trial under Minnesota's Child Victims Act.

The Child Victims Act, enacted by the Legislature in 2013, suspended the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse who wished to sue, even if the abuse took place decades ago. The previous law prevented legal action after victims reached age 24. The new law allows such claims to be brought until May 2016.
In 1978, Doe 30 claims, Fitzgerald brought him to St. Catherine's Parish in Squaw Lake, Minn., in the Diocese of Duluth, where the priest molested the boy. Doe 30 was 13 years old at the time.
In an effort to show how the diocese handled accused priests and what officials knew and when they knew it, Doe 30's attorneys [SNAP - not mentioned until the end] requested that the diocese turn over documents related to all reports of abusive priests. The diocese has yet to turn over the documents.
article at STrib

Not mentioned in the article is the fact that Fitzgerald has been dead for six years.  Although documents can still be produced of which apparently SNAP assumes is sitting organized chronologically on a file cabinet from 40 years ago, it is another example of the unhealthy relationship between Anderson and the media.  That's not to say it's not time to pay the piper for dioceses that were poorly run through the abuse era.

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