Judge denies request to seal depositions of Catholic priests


By Krista Corrigan

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)– On Thursday afternoon, an Olmsted County District Court judge denied a request to seal the depositions of three Catholic priests. These priests potentially had knowledge of a former Rochester Boy Scout Leader sexually abusing children.

This all relates to a lawsuit brought by attorney Jeff Anderson on behalf of two former scouts.

Anderson is seeking the depositions of three priests who served at St. Pius Church during the 1970s.

These priests supervised Richard Hokanson while he served as a Scout Leader there. Hokanson pleaded guilty in 1982 to molesting three Scouts in a troop sponsored by the church. These priests are Father Joseph Fogal, currently at Pax Christi in Rochester, Father Joseph Pete currently at St. Mary of the Lake in Lake City, and Father James McCauley, who is retired.

“If the defendants who have engaged in dangerous institutions are allowed to keep those practices secret, they are more likely to continue those practices. When those practices become known to us in depositions and we are allowed to make it known to the public, we believe the public is safer because of it,” said Anderson.

The deposition of defrocked priest, Thomas Adamson, who admitted abuse across communities in southeastern Minnesota, was released by Anderson’s law firm in June.

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