Diocese Molestation Lawsuit Settled

Saint Paul Pioneer Press
October 4, 2005

A settlement has been reached in a molestation lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, an attorney representing the plaintiffs said.

Two women had filed a civil suit against the diocese, alleging that the Rev. David A. Roney had molested them while serving the Church of St. Mary in Willmar from 1967 to 1980. The priest is now dead.

Attorney Jeff Anderson said the diocese and his clients had reached a settlement. The women were identified only as Jane Doe 43-A and Jane Doe 43-B.

The lawsuit had been filed in Brown County District Court, but court administration officials said the case was dismissed in June because of a settlement. Settlement papers have yet to be officially signed.

Anderson didn't disclose the amount of the settlement, but said it did include money.

"By taking their power back and bringing the diocese to some form of accountability, they've really achieved some sort of victory," he said of the women.

The Rev. Douglas Grams, who was designated to deal with matters related to sexual abuse, said he has apologized to the victims.

"I also assured them of the steps that we've put in place to make sure this won't happen again," Grams said.

Those steps include background checks and yearly audits by an outside group.

Meanwhile, Anderson is representing five more alleged victims who have filed a lawsuit in Brown County against the diocese for incidents involving Roney. The women say they were molested by Roney while he served in Willmar and Benson.


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