Woman Alleges Priest Abused Her

United Press International
September 19, 1990

A Ramsey County District judge is considering whether to dismiss a woman's charges of sexual abuse by a priest because the suit was filed too late.

The woman, identified as M.B.M., claims the Rev. Michael Kolar enticed her into sexual contacts that led her into depression and acts of physical self-abuse.

M.B.M.'s attorney, Jeffrey Anderson, called her situation "a classic case of delayed discovery of injury. She had known she had ... problems and that she had sexual contact. But it wasn't until 1988 that she made the connection," he said.

A 1989 change in state law allows alleged victims of sexual abuse to sue up to six years after they discovered they had been injured by the abuse. Before the change, sexual abuse victims were required to sue within six years of the abuse.

Daniel Haws, an attorney for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, asked Judge Margaret Marrinan Tuesday to dismiss the suit, saying that M.B.M. knew or had reason to know that she had been harmed by Kolar's conduct long before she filed her suit. He said her depositions showed that she was knowledgeable in 1974.

Kolar's attorney, Theodore Collins, argued that the woman consented to sexual contact with the priest. "She knew at the time what happened, " Collins said, "but it took 17 years before she decided to jump on the bandwagon and sue a priest."

Anderson said M.B.M. sought counseling from Kolar after she devloped psychological problems. The attorney said the priest turned the counseling into an opportunity to lead the woman into the first sexual encounter of her life.

Haws said archdiocese officials had no knowledge or reason to suspect Kolar of sexual misconduct, so they couldn't be held negligent of any alleged mistreatment. He said the suit also violate the church's First Amendment right to freedom of religion because it attacks the way the Catholic church trains and places priests.


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