Video Urges Church Abuse Victims to Come Forward

By Levi Ismail
June 29, 2015

[with video]

Attorneys representing victims of clergy abuse are producing a video they hope to be played in churches across Minnesota.

The video is produced by the official committee of unsecured creditors appointed in the bankruptcy case filed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnesota.

In the video are three clergy sexual abuse victims who share their messages about why they stepped forward and spoke out. The idea is by playing the video in parishes in the state, other victims can come forward before the August 3 bankruptcy claim file deadline.

“We’ve got to reach the survivors to preserve their rights and to give them a chance to get a measure of justice they’ve never had before. The time however is short and the clock is ticking,” said attorney Jeff Anderson with Jeff Anderson and Associates PA.

Anderson is one attorney representing 103 total victims so far who have come forward to make claims against their abusers. That does not include any other victims who may seek other representation.

Anderson says he and his team were surprised to know just how little information was made public for other victims to hopefully come forward.

“Most of the survivors do not know that there is a short time frame. So we realized that something novel and innovative needed to be done among the other things that are being done and that is create this video,” said Anderson.

The three featured in the video are as follows.

James Keenan – (Formerly John Doe 76C) James was sexually abused by Fr. Thomas Adamson in the early 1980s at Risen Savior Church in Apple Valley, MN. He has been publicly advocating on behalf of sexual abuse survivors for several years.

Marie Mielke – (Formerly Jane Doe 20) Marie bravely came forward in January 2015 for the first time to speak publicly about her sexual abuse by Fr. Michael Keating, a priest and close family friend.

Curt Raymond – Curt is speaking publicly for the first time about his sexual abuse by Fr. Robert Kapoun. As part of this outreach video Curt has courageously stepped forward to help other sexual abuse survivors find their voice and take action before this important deadline.

No decision has been made on whether or not the courts will require the videos be played in churches.

This is expected to be the first major decision for Archbishop Bernard Hebda, who is temporarily replacing the Archbishop John Nienstedt following his resignation earlier this summer.

Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche both filed for resignation 10 days after criminal charges were brought against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnesota.

According to prosecutors, they believe the church failed to protect children and in doing so, contributed to the ‘unspeakable harm’.

Hebda has served as a bishop in the Newark, N.J. Archdiocese since 2013, before being appointed to Minnesota.








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