Two Alleged Sexual Abuse Victims Sue Catholic Order
Instead of Seeking Damages, the Men Are Asking the Crosiers to Identify Members Accused of Abusing Children
By Margaret Zack
Star Tribune [Minnesota]
May 4, 2006
Two men who said they were abused by members of the Roman Catholic Crosier Order filed suit Thursday in Ramsey County District Court asking not for monetary damages but rather that the order release names of those accused of sexually abusing children.
Mark Mallinger, who said he was abused as a student at the Onamia, Minn., seminary in the 1970s, and Charles Spahn, 46, a former altar boy in Onamia who said he was abused from age 9 to 14, said they want to protect other children from going through what they did.
Spahn said he has been through treatment for drugs, alcohol and sexual addiction, as well as five years of therapy.
"The seminary at Onamia was truly a house of horrors," Mallinger said Thursday at a St. Paul news conference about the filing of the suit. "I know classmates were abused, and I know people suffered in silence and shame."
Mallinger, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, said the suit is not about money. "If we can protect one child, that's what it's about," he said.
Jeffrey Anderson, attorney for Mallinger and Spahn, said the suit names 14 members of the order who allegedly abused children. The suit said that in order to protect children from sexual molestation by Crosiers, the names of all who have been accused of sexual misconduct should be released.
The suit said that Spahn was sexually abused by Greg Madigan and that Mallinger was abused by Wendell Mohs, Neil Emon and Roger Vaughn. None of them could be reached to comment Thursday.
In October 2002, the order released the names of eight members deemed the subject of credible reports of sexual abuse of a minor. Neither Mohs nor Vaughn was on that list.
Last month, Robert Skjonsby, 40, of Port Orchard, Wash., filed suit against the Crosiers claiming he was abused by Mohs between 1980 and 1983 at Sacred Heart Church in Wahkon, Minn.
David Kostik, Crossiers spokesman, said Thursday, "We take all allegations that relate to sexual misconduct very seriously. ... The Crosiers have worked very, very hard to work with others who were victims of sexual abuse in the past and are committed to continue to work toward healing."
Kostik said in 2000 that there were 88 Crosiers in the United States, and this year the number is 72.
Margaret Zack • 612-673-7212
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