Two Women File Sexual Abuse Lawsuits against Priest

United Press International
May 17, 1990

Two women filed lawsuits Wednesday against the Catholic Youth Center and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, claiming they were sexually abused by the center's former director, Rev. Michael Kolar.

The suit filed by a 36-year-old woman alleged that Kolar initiated sexual contact with her in 1973 while she stayed at the youth center while undergoing psychiatric care for depression. The woman was 19 at the time of the incident.

The second suit, filed by a woman identified as D.S., said Kolar initiated unwanted sexual contact with her in 1984 while both of them were on a religious retreat in Wyoming. The woman was 19 at the time and was receiving religious and psychotherapeutic counseling from Kolar.

The suits charge both wmen have suffered emotional pain and suffering as a result of sexual contact with Kolar. They also charge that officials of the youth center and the archdiocese did not properly supervise Kolar and that they knew or should have known of his alleged exploitive tendencies.

Each complaint asks damages in an unspecified amount in excess of $50,000.

Kolar's attorney, Theodore Collins, said the priest has admitted the 1973 incident but has said the woman consented. He said Kolar has denied the sexual touching alleged by the second woman.

Collins has filed papers asking the court to dismiss both complaints without trial. The complaint based on the 1973 incident should be dismissed because the statute of limitations has expired, he said.

The archdiocese issued a statement Wednesday, denying it was negligent or failed to take appropriate action.

According to the statement, the alleged 1984 touching incident came to the attention of archdiocesan officials in 1986. The statement said "remedial measures" were taken, and the archdiocese decided to leave Kolar at the youth center.

In 1988, the archdiocese learned of the 1973 allegations, and decided Kolar should leave his post at the youth center, the statement said.

Collins said Kolar has been a substitute priest at various parishes in recent months.


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