Victim accepts settlement in priest abuse case

Bemidji Pioneer
May 10, 2016

DULUTH, Minn. -- An alleged victim of childhood sexual abuse from a priest has reached a settlement with the priest’s former diocese.Doe 19, who filed a lawsuit claiming Father James Vincent Fitzgerald had abused them in 1984 while working in the Diocese of Crookston, has accepted a settlement deal with the diocese and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, according to a press release.

Mike Finnegan, attorney for Doe 19, will publicly release documents from the oblate on Fitzgerald Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Duluth. The documents were used last year in a trial last year involving Fitzgerald’s abuse of Bill Weis. Weis was awarded more than $8 million by a Ramsey County jury after it found Fitzgerald abused Weis in Squaw Lake in 1978.

Doe 19’s lawsuit was filed under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, a state law passed in 2013 that extended the statute of limitations for claims of sexual abuse. Finnegan and other presenters plan to encourage other victims of Fitzgerald to come forward before the May 26 deadline.


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