2014 October

Oct 27, 2014: News Release: Gilbert Gustafson Priest File Released Today

As part of the recent settlement of the Doe 1 vs. Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and Diocese of Winona civil lawsuit, the once-secret priest file of Gilbert Gustafson was publicly released on October 27, 2014, which included many documents that have never been public. In 1983, Gustafson was criminally convicted of sexually abusing a minor boy and was placed on probation for ten years. Following the conviction, Gustafson was allowed to remain working in the Archdiocese, collecting disability payments. One of Gustafson’s major projects was the revision and reissuance of the Archdi…

Oct 17, 2014: Austin Pacelli Catholic Schools Administrators Fired Amid Teacher Sexual Conduct Case

AUSTIN, Minn. — Two top administrators at a Catholic school in Austin have been fired after a high school teacher was charged with having sex with a minor student. The Diocese of Winona, which includes Austin, says Pacelli Catholic Schools President Jim Hamburge and Principal Mary Holtorf were fired after being put on leave last week. Former math teacher Mary Gilles was charged with six counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a 17-year-old student earlier this month. The Diocese had said the administrators’ leave didn’t have to do with the charges against the 28-year-old. Diocese…

Oct 16, 2014: When Art Imitates Life—Actor Stephen Collins: Part 2

While details regarding allegations of child sexual abuse by actor Stephen Collins are still emerging, his portrayal of a sexually abusive priest in the short film “Penance” eerily foreshadows the allegations he now faces off screen and also touches on a misconception still held by some.  According to a report in the Los Angeles Times the film was made in 2013 before the secret audio recording obtained by his wife was released to the public.  The secret audio recording allegedly includes admissions by Collins of sexual impropriety with minors.  Some have alleged that Collins use…

Oct 13, 2014: Media Advisory: Settlement of Doe 1 Civil Lawsuit and Child Protection Action Plan Announced Today

 Media AdvisoryOctober 13, 2014
Jeff Anderson, Diocese of Winona, Announce Historic Child Protection Action Plan and Settlement of the Doe 1 Civil Lawsuit
Protocols outline 17 requirements to ensure transparency and child protection
With adoption of these protocols Diocese of Winona has adopted best practices for child protection
WHAT: At a news conference today in St. Paul, attorney Jeff Anderson will discuss the settlement of the Doe 1 v. Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Diocese of Winona and Thomas Adamson civil lawsuit.
As part of this historic settlement, 17 child pr…

Oct 10, 2014: Providence Academy, Visitation, Pacelli Abuse Accusations Remind of Need For Improved Child Protection Measures in Schools

News of a string of child sexual abuse charges at Minnesota schools provides a shocking reminder of the importance of child protection measures in our schools. It also serves as a reminder to schools – especially now that kids are back in the classroom – that vigilance and existing child protection measures can always be improved.

Oct 09, 2014: Actor Allegedly Admits Abuse in Secret Recording

Recently it has been reported by TMZ.com that Mr. Collins’ wife, actress Faye Grant who is currently involved with contentious divorce proceedings secretly recorded a joint therapy session during which two discussed Mr. Collins’ alleged sexual abuse of minors.  Often the convoluted and inconsistent laws and rules of evidence regarding child sexual abuse are exploited by offenders who can abuse in one jurisdiction then flee to another jurisdiction to avoid detection and accountability..