Court orders New Ulm, Duluth dioceses to release sex abuse documents

Minnesota Public Radio

Riham Feshir · Jan 28, 2015

A Ramsey County judge has ordered Catholic officials in New Ulm and Duluth and the religious order Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate to release all documents pertaining to alleged clergy sex abuse dating as far back as 1949.

Ramsey County Judge John Guthmann issued the order after hearing arguments in the case of a man who accuses the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald of sexually abusing him when he was boy in 1976.

Guthmann ordered the two dioceses and Oblates of Mary Immaculate to provide all documents regarding alleged abuse by any priest employed by the churches or was present at any of their facilities since 1949.

“These are documents that have been held and divulged to the Diocese of New Ulm and the Diocese of Duluth and for the eyes of the bishops only and their top officials,” said attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents the man who has accused Fitzgerald of abuse. “Now we get to have them for our eyes. And we think it’s an important development in this case.”

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