Victim testifies how sexual abuse by Minnesota priest altered his life

Star Tribune

By Nicole Norfleet Star Tribune OCTOBER 29, 2015

John Doe 30’s life is not how he expected it to be.

The 52-year-old hair stylist said he has spent much of his adulthood struggling with anxiety, moving from place to place and not trusting people after an alleged sexual assault by a Minnesota priest when he was a boy. He has tried twice to kill himself and has always lived alone.

“I feel like the church has turned its back on me. I feel betrayed by the church,” the man testified Thursday in his court case against the Diocese of Duluth.

Attorneys for Doe 30 said he was 15 in 1978 when he was molested daily during a two-week stay with the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald, who had a church in Squaw Lake. Doe 30 is suing the diocese in Ramsey County District Court, alleging that it failed to protect him.

The case is the first under the Minnesota Child Victims Act to go to trial. The 2013 law has allowed older claims of child sex abuse previously barred by statutes of limitations to be aired in court.

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