Man Sues Former priest, Alleging Sex Abuse

Associated Press, carried in Star Tribune
January 16, 1993

A man who alleges that a Catholic priest sexually abused him in the 1970s in Hopkins filed suit Friday against the former priest.

The alleged victim, identified as John D.D. Doe, is the second man to file suit alleging that he was sexually abused as a teenager by the Rev. Robert M. Thurner.

Also named as defendants in the new lawsuit filed in Ramsey County District Court are the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Hopkins.

Thurner, now 67, is alleged in the lawsuit to have begun sexual contacts in 1972, when the alleged victim was 16 years old, and continued them until 1977. Thurner often initiated sexual contacts after the teenager became intoxicated from alcohol provided by the priest, the suit alleges.

Thurner acknowledged in an answer filed in court that he had sexual contact one time that may have occurred before the boy turned 18.

Any sexual contacts after that were consensual and ended by late 1976, Thurner said.

Thurner has admitted that he sexually abused another teenage boy in 1982 while at the Hopkins church.

He was transferred in 1986 to St. Therese Catholic Church in St. Paul but retired abruptly in December 1991, just before the first suit was filed.


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