2014 May

May 30, 2014: UN Committee’s Spotlight Illuminates Holy See’s Failings in Child Protection on International Stage

The issue of clergy sexual abuse was addressed on an international scale last Friday when the United Nations Committee on the Convention Against Torture issued a seething review of the Holy See’s yearly report.  The Committee found that Vatican officials failed to properly report child sex abuse charges, shuffled priests to different dioceses rather than disciplining them, and failed to pay adequate compensation to survivors of child sex abuse.As a party to the Convention Against Torture (CAT) since 2002, the Holy See has a legal obligation to take international responsibility for its…

May 28, 2014: News Release: Testimony of Former Vicar General Peter Laird Released Today

(St. Paul, MN) – The sworn testimony of the Archdiocese’s former Vicar General Father Peter Laird has been publicly released by attorneys as a part of a civil lawsuit filed in 2013 in Ramsey County; Doe 1 vs. the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, Diocese of Winona and Father Thomas Adamson. “Father Laird’s deposition raises serious questions about Archbishop Nienstedt…

May 21, 2014: News Release: Jury Awards South Carolina Teacher $1 Million in Civil Lawsuit

A Dorchester County jury awarded teacher and former Assistant Principal of Knightsville Elementary School, Mary Rita Watson a $1,000,000 verdict in a civil lawsuit filed on her behalf involving an incident that occurred at the school in 2009.  Attorney Gregg Meyers of Jeff Anderson & Associates, a Minnesota-based law firm specializing in cases of child sexual abuse with an offic…

May 21, 2014: Minnesota Priest Charged With Sexual Assault of Altar Boy From 1989 to 1991

HASTINGS, Minn. (KMSP) – Former Rev. Francis Hoefgen was charged Wednesday in Dakota County with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with allegations he sexually abused a former altar boy.The alleged abuse occurred from the spring of 1989 to the fall of 1991 when the boy was 9 to 12 years old. The victim brought the allegations to Hastings police in November 2013, telling investigators he was sexually abused by Hoefgen multiple times as a student and altar boy at St. Boniface Church and school.Hoefgen, now 63, began serving as a priest in the St. Boniface Church in…

May 14, 2014: Priest Guilty Of Abuse In Minnesota Is Deported To India

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A priest who was convicted of fondling a 12-year-old girl while he was working in the Diocese of Winona has been deported to his native India.Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say 48-year-old Leo Charles Koppala was turned over to authorities in New Delhi on Wednesday.Koppola was charged last June with second-degree criminal sexual conduct. He pleaded guilty in March, admitting he fondled the girl while eating dinner at her grandmother’s house.