Judge Won't Reduce Award of Damagesv

Star Tribune
April 16, 1996

Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson has refused to reduce the punitive damages awarded to a man who was sexually abused as a teenager by a Catholic priest.

The jury in February gave Dale Scheffler, 30, of Prior Lake, $ 600,000 punitive damages inaddition to $ 550,000 actual damages for the abuse by the Rev. Robert Kapoun. The punitive damages were assessed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Larson said in his order filed Monday that sufficient evidence existed to support the jury award.

He also rejected the argument by the archdiocese and Kapoun that evidence that Kapoun had sexually abused three other young men in addition to Scheffler had been improperly admitted.

He said that evidence showed motive, intent, opportunity, plan and identity.

Scheffler was abused by Kapoun nearly 15 years ago but didn't realize that his problems stemmed from that abuse until 1993.

Kapoun resigned from the priesthood during the trial.


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