Attorneys on Wednesday, July 2, filed a civil lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on behalf of a former altar boy, alleging that a longtime priest raped the boy inside the priest's bedroom at a southeastern Minnesota rectory.
John Doe 110, as he is called in newly filed court papers, was about 10 years old and serving as an altar boy at Guardian Angels Church in Hastings, Minnesota in the early 1950s. Rev. Alphonsus Ferguson lured the boy to meet him inside the rectory, court papers say. Ferguson then took the plaintiff into his bedroom and anally raped the boy, leaving him with permanent injuries, court papers allege.
The victim is now 74 and still lives in Minnesota. Fr. Ferguson passed away in 1973. Ferguson served as pastor of Guardian Angels in Hastings from 1951-65 and as such was employed by and served under the supervision of the archdiocese. Ferguson was a member of the religious order Franciscan Servants of the Sacred Heart, in Omaha, Neb.
"This is a very worrisome case because Fr. Ferguson appears on no Archdiocese lists of perpetrators or sex offender registries. If he were alive, he would still be a priest in a parish and he would have access to more Archdiocese children to abuse," said Patrick Noaker, John Doe 110's attorney.
Ferguson worked as a priest in Minnesota, New York, Nebraska, Iowa and Ireland, assignment information shows. There is also information that Ferguson was assigned in China prior to coming to Hastings.
Monday's lawsuit was filed today in District Court, Second Judicial District in Ramsey County. This is the first case court case involving Ferguson filed against the archdiocese since the law change last spring. Last year, Minnesota approved a three-year window allowing victims over age 24 to sue for past abuse, which allowed John Doe 110's case to proceed.
Noaker's co-counsel, Lee James, says that that Ferguson's 15-year term of service in Hastings likely means more victims are out there. "Our investigation shows that Ferguson had access to dozens and dozens of altar boys while at Guardian Angels parish," co-counsel Leander James said. "We're anticipating others will come forward."