Lourdes High School, Rochester Catholic Schools settle lawsuit over sex abuse in the 1970s

KIMT3 News [Rochester, MN]

August 28, 2023

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A partial settlement has been reached in a lawsuit claiming sex abuse at Lourdes High School in the 1970s.

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

Doe 222 filed a lawsuit against Lourdes High School, Rochester Catholic Schools, and the Diocese of Winona, claiming they should have known Cashman was a danger to children and did not provide a reasonable level of safety and care.

However, Lourdes High School and Rochester Catholic Schools have now been dismissed as defendants after reaching a settlement with Doe 222.  The terms of the settlement have not been released.  The lawsuit against the Diocese of Winona is continuing and a trial has been scheduled to start July 22, 2024, in Olmsted County District Court.

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.