Alleging Sexual Abuse, Twin Cities Man Sues Priest, St. Cloud Diocese
By Paul Gustafson
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)
January 21, 1995
A man who alleges that he was sexually molested by a priest in Little Falls, Minn., in the 1960s filed a lawsuit Friday against the priest, the Holy Family parish and the Diocese of St. Cloud.
While on a visit to Little Falls a year ago, the man was walking through a now-closed parish school building when he experienced memories of the abuse by the Rev. Reginald Krakovsky for the first time, said Marc Kurzman, his attorney.
Kurzman said his client, identified only as G.F., is 41, married and now lives in Ramsey County.
His lawsuit, which was served on the defendants last month and was to be filed in Ramsey County District Court Friday, alleges that Krakovsky induced him to perform sexual acts on the priest between 1961 and 1964. It seeks damages of more than $ 50,000 each from Krakovsky, the Franciscan Order to which be belongs and the Diocese of St. Cloud.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis also is named as a defendant. Its attorneys have filed a motion to be dismissed from the lawsuit, saying that Krakovsky was not under the control of the archdiocese at the time.
However, Kurzman said he has information that Krakovsky later served at an Inver Grove Heights church and one other parish near the Twin Cities before leaving Minnesota in 1986. Kurzman said he is investigating whether any boys at those churches allege that they were abused.
A spokeswoman for the archdiocese said Friday that she could not confirm whether Krakovsky had served at parishes in the Twin Cities area.
A priest at St. Bernardine's Monastery in Hollidaysburg, Pa., where Krakovsky now lives, said Friday that Krakovsky is on vacation and could not be reached. His attorney also could not be reached for comment.
The Rev. Daniel Taufen, administrator of the St. Cloud Diocese, said Friday that its records show that Krakovsky worked at the Little Falls parish school between July 1962 and June 1963, then was assigned to a retirement home in Morris, Minn., for a year before leaving the state.
Taufen confirmed that he met with G.F. in May 1994, heard him describe the alleged abuse by Krakovsky and told G.F. that he believed him. By that, Taufen said, he meant that he believes G.F. honestly thinks that he was abused.
However, G.F. recalls that Taufen said he believed him because of information contained in the diocese's records on Krakovsky, Kurzman said. Taufen said the diocese has a 'limited file" on the priest but that there are "no indications" in it of abuse by Krakovsky.
Taufen also said that he is unaware of anyone else making complaints of sexual abuse by Krakovsky.
However, Kurzman said G.F. has found classmates from 30 years ago who allegedly remember being abused by the priest. Two or three of them may be able to file similar suits, Kurzman said. Others may become witnesses but will be barred from bringing suits themselves by the statute of limitations because they have never forgotten the alleged abuse, he said.
Since 1989, Minnesota law has allowed alleged victims of sexual abuse to sue up to six years after they discover they had been injured by the abuse. Before then, sexual abuse victims were required to sue within six years of the abuse.
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