New Ulm Diocese Named In Another Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

By Maytal Levi
September 10, 2014

[with video]

The New Ulm Diocese is named in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed today in Brown County.

This isn't the first time the New Ulm Diocese has been in the media in connection with the states sexual abuse scandal.

Today a lawsuit was filed on behalf of two former altar boys who say they were sexually abused by Father Michael Skoblik at St. Joseph's Parish in Silver Lake.

Skoblik served in the New Ulm Diocese from 1965 to 1988.

He died in 1989.

This is the 8th claim, Jeff Anderson and associates have filed against the New Ulm Diocese.

Jeff Anderson, Victims attorney says, "He was a serial offender who abused at the 5 other assignments he was at before that."

He also says that the two former altar boys were abused repeatedly, but they weren't the only ones.

Anderson says, "We also know there are other cases to come forward regarding Skoblik, we know at least of 8 kids."

The lawsuit includes claims of negligence as well as public nuisance.

Naming the Diocese of New Ulm as the defendant.

Anderson calls on current New Ulm Bishop John M. Levoir to release the names of 12 priests from New Ulm who are accused of sexual abuse.

Saying it's the community's right to know if there are current offenders in the area.

Anderson says, "It is shameful that he has yet to release this information and continues to adhere to a policy of secrecy and self–protection."

According to the attorney's website, New Ulm is the only diocese in the state that is refusing to release the names of credibly accused priests.

The New Ulm Diocese has released a statement, in summary it states that the diocese was unaware of any claims of sexual  misconduct involving Skoblik prior to his death.


More from the New Ulm Diocese statement can be found below:

"The Diocese of New Ulm deeply regrets that long-lasting and devastating effects of sexual misconduct on the part of clergy. Such misconduct requires positive action on our part, and we have been strengthening our systems and procedures in order to address this grave issue. The diocese has been diligent in its efforts to establish a safe environment program that educates clergy, diocesan and parish staff, teachers, parents, students and volunteers that work with youth, and that helps them identify and prevent sexual misconduct. We are committed to offering help and healing to anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct and to preventing this terrible crime from occurring in the diocese.

Anyone who has suffered sexual abuse, exploitation, or harassment by a priest, deacon or pastoral administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm should immediately report such misconduct to local law enforcement. They are encouraged to contact The Victim Assistance Coordinator or the Bishop's Delegate in Matters Pertaining to Sexual Misconduct, 1421 6th Street North, New Ulm, MN 56073 or by phone at 507-359-2966 for counseling if desired."

The links to the criminal complaints can be found here.



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