Archdiocese, Priest Unlikely to Collect Legal Costs in Child Molestation Case

By Margaret Zack
Star Tribune
June 10, 1997

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a priest don't expect to collect legal expenses from a man whose molestation lawsuit was thrown out.

Dale Scheffler, 30, of Prior Lake, was awarded more than $ 1 million last year after a Hennepin County jury found that he had been abused at age 14 by the Rev. Robert Kapoun, known as the Polka Padre. Last month the Minnesota Court of Appeals threw out the award, ruling that Scheffler had waited too long to sue.

The archdiocese has filed to collect $ 4,937 and Kapoun $ 1,081 from Scheffler to defray some of their legal expenses in the case. Such documents are filed as a matter of routine, archdiocese attorney Andrew Eisenzimmer said Monday, but it's unlikely that any effort will be made to collect.

"The cost to collect would be tremendous in terms of public relations and actual costs," he said.

The Minnesota Supreme Court will be asked to review the case, said Scheffler's attorney, Jeffrey Anderson.

On Sunday, Scheffler and others protested outside the Cathedral of St. Paul during mass.

"The perpetrator walks away free and clear while I get punished for reporting a crime and trying to protect other kids," Scheffler said in a statement Monday. "It really hurts to see the church I grew up in acting so vengefully."

The archdiocese has paid for therapy for Scheffler, spokesman Tim Anderson said. "We are most interested in making him as whole as he can be," he said.


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