News Release: Diocese of Duluth Ordered to Produce Clergy Sexual Abuse Records

Judge Orders Diocese of Duluth to Produce All Records on Child Sexual Abuse by Clergy from 1956-74

Judge Floerke’s Order in Doe 28 Case is Big Step Toward Diocese Accountability, Transparency

(St. Paul, MN) – St. Louis County District Court Shaun R. Floerke has ordered the Diocese of Duluth, the Defendant in the Doe 28 clergy sexual abuse lawsuit, to produce all records pertaining to sexual abuse reported to have been committed by any priest from 1956 to 1974. The secret documents will be produced to Doe 28 under seal as a result of a protective order previously obtained by the Diocese of Duluth in the lawsuit.

The documents will provide a clearer picture of the Diocese of Duluth’s practices regarding abusive priests. The Diocese of Duluth has refused to provide these documents to Doe 28. The Diocese previously released a list of credibly accused priests but has refused to publicly release related documents.

“This is a big step forward in the right direction for transparency and accountability,” said Jeff Anderson, attorney for Doe 28. “The Diocese of Duluth must finally disclose to Plaintiff what it knew about abusive priests, when it knew, and how it responded. We again urge the Diocese to publicly disclose this information. Only then, through full, public disclosure, will there be transparency, justice and healing for survivors.”

Doe 28 was sexually abused as a minor by Father Robert Klein, a Diocese of Duluth priest, while Klein was working at Sacred Heart Church and St. Jean’s School, in Duluth, in approximately 1972-74. Doe 28 met and was abused by Klein in Duluth and Brainerd, Minn. Doe 28 brought his lawsuit under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which gives child sexual abuse victims until May 25, 2016, to file civil lawsuits.