Lawsuit against Diocese of Winona sent back to court

Post Bulletin

September 24, 2018

By Emily Cutts

The Minnesota Appeals Court ruled Monday that a lawsuit against the Diocese of Winona involving allegations of sexual abuse should be sent back to the Winona County District Court.

The lawsuit, filed by a man identified in court documents as John Doe 121, alleges that while he was a student at St. Mary’s Catholic Church during the early 1960s he was sexually abused by Father Richard Hatch. He filed suit in 2015, arguing that both the Diocese of Winona St. Mary’s Catholic Church acted negligently because they should have foreseen, or known about, Hatch’s sexually abusive tendencies toward children.

Hatch died in 2005. He was ordained in 1954 and served in three churches in Minnesota – St. Vianney’s in Fairmont, St. Leo’s in Pipestone, and St. James’ in St. James – from that time through 1962, according to court documents.

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