Attorney to file sex abuse lawsuit against abbey, monk

St. Cloud Times
May 19, 2014

St. Paul lawyer Jeff Anderson said Sunday that he is filing a sexual abuse lawsuit against St. John's Abbey and one of its monks, Richard Eckroth.

Eckroth is accused of sexually abusing two young boys at a cabin in northern Minnesota during the early 1970s when they were parishioners at the Church of St. Joseph in St. Joseph.

Anderson will hold a news conference at noon Monday to announce the filing in Stearns County court. The suit was served Friday and will be filed Monday, he said.

Anderson will also release files on the late Robert Blumeyer, the late Cosmas Dahlheimer, Thomas Gillespie, Francis Hoefgen and Brennan Maiers — other St. John's monks accused of sexually abusing children and all former employees of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese. The files were obtained in a 2013 Ramsey County lawsuit.

Eckroth, Blumeyer, Dahlheimer, Gillespie, Hoefgen and Maiers were all listed as clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors by the Diocese of St. Cloud in a January report. Eckroth was living in Collegeville at the time of that report.

Anderson is also requesting that St. John's release its files on Blumeyer, Dahlheimer, Gillespie, Hoefgen and Maiers plus 17 other clerics from the institution whom Anderson says have been credibly accused of sexual abuse involving minors.

A message seeking comment was left with St. John's Abbey spokesman Aelred Senna but wasn't immediately returned.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.