Man files lawsuit, claiming he was sexually abused at Lourdes High School in 1970s

KIMT3 News [Rochester, MN]

July 20, 2023

By Mike Bunge

A civil lawsuit has been filed against the Diocese of Winona, Lourdes High School, and Rochester Catholic Schools by someone who claims to have been sexually abused by a priest.

Identified in the lawsuit only as Doe 222, the plaintiff says Father Joseph Cashman had unpermitted sexual contact with him while Doe 222 attended Lourdes High School from 1972 to 1974.  The sexual contact happened when the plaintiff was between 14 and 16 years old.

Cashman was ordained as a priest in 1960 and worked in parishes throughout southern Minnesota.  The Diocese of Winona says it learned of allegations of sexual misconduct against Cashman in 1986 and his ministerial privileges were revoked in 1992.

Cashman died in 2018.

The lawsuit claims the Diocese, Lourdes High School, and Rochester Catholic Schools should have known Cashman was a danger to children and did not provide a reasonable level of safety and care.  It says Doe 222 suffered physical, personal, and psychological injuries because of the sexual abuse by Cashman.

The lawsuit is asking for more than $50,000 in damages.