Abuse Lawsuit Decision Stands

By David Unze
St. Cloud Times (St. Cloud, MN)
June 23, 2004

The state Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a former St. John's Prep student against a former teacher he accused of sexual abuse.

Bill Quenroe appealed a Stearns County District Court judge's decision to dismiss the lawsuit against Dunstan Moorse. Attorneys for Moorse and St. John's Abbey successfully argued Quenroe filed suit after the statute of limitations had expired.

The Tuesday ruling affirms the decision last summer by Stearns County District Court Judge Bernard Boland. Quenroe's lawyer, Jeff Anderson, said they were considering an appeal.

Quenroe accused Moorse of sexually abusing him in the early 1980s when Quenroe was a student at St. John's Prep. Moorse was a teacher and spiritual adviser there.

Abbey attorneys argued that Quenroe filed the lawsuit after Minnesota's six-year statute of limitations expired. A statute of limitations is a period of time in which legal action must be taken.

Quenroe signed a statement in 1992 outlining the abuse and met with then-Abbot Timothy Kelly in 1995. Quenroe and Kelly discussed financial assistance for injuries Quenroe said he sustained because of the abuse.

Therefore, Quenroe should have known of the abuse by no later than 1995, abbey attorneys said. He had to file the lawsuit no later than 2001 for it to be within the statute of limitations.

Quenroe filed suit in June 2002. He said he had developed coping mechanisms that made him incapable of realizing earlier the damages from Moorse's conduct.


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