Man Who Says Phony Deacon Abused Him Wants Closure

October 13, 2009

[with video]

Benjamin Magler

A man who claimed he was abused by a fake deacon at St. Agnes Church in St. Paul 20 years ago spoke publicly for the first time.

In 2007, Benjamin Magler filed suit against Thomas Kemp, who allegedly posed as a deacon, along with the St. Agnes Parish and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Magler, a former altar boy at St. Agnes said Kemp sexually abused him for several years starting in 1986.

The story made news last week because the group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, protested outside St. Agnes. The group claimed the church didn't do enough to alert other parishioners to Magler's claims.

Magler said he wants the church to take action on his case.

Thomas Kemp

He said, "It's' just compounding the hurt, the pain. We're just looking for closure. My family is looking for closure. We just want to move on."

The Archdiocese said Kemp posed as a deacon. A spokesperson called him a con man.

The Archdiocese said it did not know about the abuse allegations until the the lawsuit was filed. After that, church leaders announced news of the allegations during each church service.

Kemp lives out of state. Last week, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke with Kemp's lawyer who said Kemp never told anyone he was a deacon and denies all abuse allegations.


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