Priest Abuse Lawsuit

By Jenn Rourke
Today's TMJ 4
November 22, 2006

Franklin - Several alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse will deliver a letter and a new civil child sexual abuse lawsuit notice Wednesday against a Catholic priest living in Milwaukee to Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

The suit charges that a state bishop under Dolan's jurisdiction broke state laws requiring that suspected child molestation be promptly reported to law enforcement. The alleged victims are urging Dolan to disclose where the priest is living and remove him from ministry.

Fr. Edward Beutner, according to a lawsuit being filed Wednesday, molested a 15-year old on a trip to Minnesota in the late 1960's. The lawsuit is being filed in Duluth.

The two met at Cathedral of Christ the King parish in Superior, Wisconsin, where the victim "came to know, admire, trust, revere and respect Beutner," the suit says.

The suit alleges that church officials "continue to attempt to cover up Beutner's abuse of children," despite four other reports from individuals who said that they were molested as children by Beutner.

St. Paul, Minnesota attorney Jeff Anderson, who has handled hundreds of clergy sex cases, represents Beutner's alleged victim. Anderson said that the boy was also abused in Wisconsin but the state's"'predator-friendly" laws prevent legal action in Wisconsin.

Buetner has not been reported to civil authorities, although state law requires clergy to report suspected child abusers. He has also not been removed by his bishop or archbishop Dolan fRom public ministry.

This is believed to be the first child molestation lawsuit against Beutner.


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