St. Cloud Diocese: 74 Sexual Abuse Claims Made Under Child Victims Act


By Jim Maurice May 29, 2016

ST. CLOUD – The Diocese of St. Cloud says a total of 74 claims were made against the diocese under the Minnesota Child Victims Act. The Act created by the State Legislature lifted for three years the civil statute of limitations for allegations of past sexual abuse of minors. The window for filing claims ended on Wednesday.

The claims name 31 members of the clergy who served in the diocese. Thirty parishes are named in the claims; the diocese has 131 parishes.

The claims are related to abuse alleged to have happened many years ago — several decades ago in most cases. The claims do not involve anyone who is currently in parish ministry.

Pastors and parishioners are being informed about the claims. It is not expected that the claims will affect the normal operations of parishes or Catholic schools in the diocese. Diocesan and parish staff are working with attorneys to identify insurance coverage that could go toward resolution of these lawsuits.

Victims and survivors are urged to contact the diocesan victim assistance coordinator at (320) 248-1563.

Allegations of abuse were made against the following clergy members in the lawsuits against the Diocese of St. Cloud during the three-year window of the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which expired May 25, 2016.

Cosmas Dahlheimer, OSB
Hubert Dahlheimer, OSB
John Eccleston
Richard Eckroth, OSB
Sylvester Gall
Raoul Gauthier
Thomas Gillespie, OSB
Philibert Harrer, OSB
Othmar Hohmann, OSB
Matthew Kiess, OSB
Val Klimek
Joseph Kremer
Henry Lutgen
Brennan Maiers, OSB
Antonio Marfori
James Mohm
Jerome Reisinger
David Rieder
Donald Rieder
David Sheldon
Paul Shurek
Robert Smith
Peter Snyers
Allan Speiser
James Thoennes
Thomas Thole, OSB
Roger Vaughn, OSC
William Wey
Joseph Wiersgalla
Mark Willenbring
Vincent Yzermans

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