Lawsuit alleges incidents of sexual assault at the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Rochester Catholic Schools

KAAL-TV, ABC-6 [Austin MN]

July 20, 2023

(ABC 6 News) – A lawsuit filed on Wednesday claims a former Lourdes High School student was sexually assaulted multiple times by a former clergyman with the Diocese of Winona-Rochester nearly 50 years ago.

According to court documents, the alleged abuse took place from 1972 to 1974, when the plaintiff was between the ages of 14-16 years old.

The suit names Father Joseph Cashman as the alleged perpetrator, who was first ordained by the diocese in 1960 before having his ministerial privileges suspended in 1992 after he was accused of making sexual approaches to several children prior to 1986.

Cashman worked at Lourdes High School between 1970-1977.

The lawsuit claims the Diocese of Winona-Rochester and Rochester Catholic Schools “knew or should have known that Father Cashman was a danger to children before he sexually molested Plaintiff.”

This suit is just the latest claim of clergy child sex abuse against the diocese.

In 2021, they reached a $21.5 million settlement with 145 victims.

Last year, a former priest with the diocese was charged with 5th-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly sexually assaulting someone while they were incapacitated. Though he was associated with the diocese at the time the alleged assault took place.

The latest suit was filed by Jeff Anderson & Associates, who have a history of representing victims of clergy sexual abuse.

They’re seeking $50,000 or more in damages.

You can read the full filing below: