2011 September

Sep 23, 2011: Family: Bishop, Diocese pretended to be ‘sophisticated incompetents’

Another lawsuit has been filed alleging that Bishop Robert Finn and other Catholic Church leaders strove to cover up Father Shawn Ratigan taking sexually explicit pictures of young girls. An unidentified girl and her parents are suing The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bishop Robert Finn and Ratigan. Some of the allegations are similar to a previous lawsuit by another girl’s family but also includes explosive new allegations about the lengths that Diocese leaders and Finn went to keep the issue from going public. These allegations include claiming that…

Sep 15, 2011: High Court Revives Shiprock Priest Abuse Case

A Navajo man who alleges that he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest more than 25 years ago will get his day in tribal court. The Navajo Nation Supreme Court this week overturned a decision by the Shiprock District Court that dismissed the suit on grounds it was filed too late. The suit was filed in May 2007, more than 20 years after the alleged abuse occurred.

Sep 14, 2011: Creditors’ attorneys in archdiocese bankruptcy attack cemetery trust

Attorneys for the creditors in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy are attacking the validity of its $50 million cemetery trust, saying it was created in 2007 to defraud victims of clergy sex abuse. The creditors committee, composed of victim-survivors, filed a counterclaim Tuesday against the trust and its sole trustee, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, asking the bankruptcy court to void the 2008 transfer of $55 million into the account, and to declare the trust invalid. If the trust is declared valid, it argues, the court should require the archdiocese to trace all deposits to ensure that as…

Sep 13, 2011: Navajo Nation Supreme Court: Tribal Court Must Hear Case of Priest Who Sexually Abused Navajo Child on Reservation

News Release September 13, 2011   Navajo Nation Supreme Court:   Tribal court must hear case of priest who sexually abused Navajo child on reservation   Ruling reverses lower court that dismissed case based on a 20-year delay of reporting   Allows lawsuit against Franciscan priest, his order and the Diocese of Gallup to move forward   (St. Paul, MN) A prominent Minnesota law firm, known throughout the county for pioneering the use of civil litigation against clergy who sexually abuse children, achieved a major victory last week when the Navajo Na…

Sep 12, 2011: From Darkness into Light: Megan Peterson’s Case of Triumph

When I first met Megan Peterson in 2007 she was a scared child on a path toward destruction. Life had left her so scarred that she couldn’t even meet my gaze. She was self-loathing and in a deep depression; she now admits that she had no intention of living. Recognizing the potential for further trauma to Megan if litigation ensued, we approached legal action cautiously.  We also knew it couldn’t get much worse for Megan, so with hope of a positive outcome, we filed a lawsuit using the pseudonym Jane Doe 121.

Sep 06, 2011: Crookston Diocese Settles With Alleged Victim

A woman who says she was sexually abused by a former priest in northern Minnesota when she was 14 has reached a $750,000 settlement that requires the Diocese of Crookston to warn parishioners about the abuse and take steps to protect kids in the future. Megan Peterson, now 21, of Thief River Falls, appeared at a news conference Tuesday in St. Paul to announce the settlement. She chose to come forward “to let people know they are not alone.” “I’m here today to speak my truth, and to protect kids,” she said. Peterson says she was a teenager with aspirations of becoming a nun when she was rape…

Sep 06, 2011: Video of Press Conference: Groundbreaking settlement announced

At a press conference on Tuesday in St. Paul, clergy abuse attorney Jeff Anderson announces the settlement of a lawsuit with the Diocese of Crookston involving the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl by a priest on loan from India. The priest, Reverend Joseph Jeyapaul, who was also charged criminally by Roseau County authorities, is now a fugitive from justice and working in the active ministry in India. The victim, now 21, will disclose her identity at the news conference and release a disturbing petition showing her perpetrator around children in India where he is now in charge of 40 schools.