St. John’s Abbey to open sex-abuse files on 19 monks in legal settlement

Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: April 28, 2015

A lawsuit filed by a man who was abused while he was a student at St. John’s Preparatory School yields a landmark settlement.

The monks at St. John’s Abbey worked as student counselors, teachers, parish priests and chaplains, even as they sexually abused minors. What the abbey knew of their sexual improprieties, and when, has never been made public — but that’s about to change.

Under a landmark clergy abuse settlement announced Tuesday, the personnel files of 19 monks known as sex offenders will be made public. The files will expose for the first time how the abbey addressed reports of sex abuse on its Collegeville campus, home to one of the largest Benedictine abbeys in North America.

The lawsuit was settled in much the same way as the first lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, requiring that personnel vaults be opened and that the monks’ work histories, accusations of abuse, psychological treatment, abbey correspondence and other details be made public.

Troy Bramlage, 52, is the Sauk Rapids man whose lawsuit led to the historic settlement. He said he was sexually abused as a 14-year-old freshman living at St. John’s Preparatory School by the Rev. Allen Tarlton, his English teacher.

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