|Child Sex Lawsuit Filed against Weber, St. Cloud Diocese
December 13, 2011
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Virginia man is filing a lawsuit against the Diocese of St. Cloud and former deacon and United Way board member Michael Weber, alleging sexual abuse suffered by the while vacationing as a child at a Minnesota lake.
The victim, identified in the complaint as John Doe HT, alleges the Diocese of St. Cloud kept quiet about Weber's sexual abuse history, thus contributing to the abuse he suffered.
The lawsuit alleging negligence and fraud was announced by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who has a history of taking on sexual abuse cases involving the Catholic Church.
The now 47-year-old victim, who FOX 9 will identify only as Terry, said his life was changed forever when he was molested.
"In approximately the summer of 1970, when I was 6 years old, I was sexually abused by Mike Weber," Terry said via speakerphone at a news conference with Anderson.
In November, the FOX 9 Investigators revealed other accusations leveled against Weber by two men who told police they were molested in the mid 1960s. Terry said those allegations prompted him to come forward.
The filed lawsuit claims Terry was invited to sleep in Weber's tent while at a camping trip for Catholic families. The lawsuit says Terry's parents trusted the then-seminarian and a counselor named Dan Carle, who vouched for Weber.
The suit claims that Carle admitted to the boy's parents that he had been treating Weber for pedophilia days after Terry slept in the tent, but he told FOX 9 News he doesn't remember saying that.
"I have no recollection of saying that, and that does not compute at all with what I may have said under any circumstances," Carle said.
Furthermore, Carle said he would not have treated a seminarian -- and certainly would not have let a 6-year-old boy into a tent with a possible predator.
"I would never do a thing like that," he said.
Michael Weber served as a deacon at Holy Spirit Church in St. Cloud more than 40 years ago. Allegations of sexual abuse against Weber first surfaced in September 2009 when a victim's advocate with the church notified police that two men came forward decades after.
On Dec. 4, the St. Cloud Diocese held a listening session to let other potential victims come forward and answer questions from parishioners. At least five other victims -- including one woman -- came forward at the listen session to address concerns that the long-time child advocate may have actually molested children while working at the church.
The 67-year-old seminary drop out went on to have a distinguished career in public service. He was on the board of directors at United Way and volunteered as a student mentor at St. Johns University.
Weber was also the assistant commissioner of human services in the 1970s. During the 90s, he ran a similar department for Hennepin County, which included the child protection unit.
Weber has yet to be charged with any crimes, but he's parted ways with St. Johns since the allegations surfaced and is no longer on the board of directors at United Way.
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