Church Sex Abuse Lawsuit Heads to Court

By Nick Minock
Northlands News Center
October 19, 2015

[with video]

One of the several lawsuits filed in connection with sexual abuse in the Catholic Church began Monday morning in St. Paul.

The lawsuit, that is filed by Jeff Anderson and Associates, involves the Diocese of Duluth.

The lawsuit claims that Father J. Vincent Fitzgerald abused a teenage altar boy in 1978.

The lawsuit claims the now deceased priest molested the boy "on a daily basis."

The priest was working at St. Catherine's Church at the time under the Diocese of Duluth.

The lawsuit is set to go to trial.

"Victims of sexual abuse who come forward to tell their stories do a public service," the Diocese of Duluth said in a statement. "They help society seek justice. They help all of us, including the church, to do a better job of preventing sexual abuse."

We spoke with one of the plaintiff's representatives who says there are three reasons why victims of abuse should come forward now.

"By telling someone else and relieving some of that burden, survivors can get some of their power back that was stolen when they were kids, that's the first thing," Michael Finnegan said. "The second thing is that they can be pat of the solution, here, and protecting kids in the future. There are all kinds of documents and secrets that the Diocese of Duluth is still holding onto and the legal system is what can hold them accountable and make sure kids are better protected today and into the future."

"And lastly, they can get some accountability compensation for themselves for what they been through," Finnegan added.

If you are a victim of abuse, you may have the chance to receive compensation. But you have a limited time to do so.

The Child Victims Act that was passed in 2013, allows abuse victims to seek accountability compensation by 2016.








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