Sauk Rapids man files suit saying priest abused him as child A Sauk Rapids man is suing the Order of St. Benedict, St. John’s Abbey, St. John’s Prep School and a monk who lives at the abbey for sexual abuse he said he suffered in 1977.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Troy Bramlage is the direct result of a law passed by the 2013 Legislature that lifted a six-year civil statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse.

The new law gives victims older than 24 three years to sue for past abuse and anyone younger than 18 an unlimited time to file lawsuits regarding childhood sexual abuse. Previous lawsuits of this nature routinely have been dismissed by district courts as being filed too far after the old statute of limitations had expired.

Bramlage is at least the fifth person to sue the Rev. Allen Tarlton, accusing him of sexual abuse. The other lawsuits either were settled or were dismissed on statute of limitations grounds.

Bramlage said Wednesday that a central motivation for his lawsuit is so others who were afraid to speak about the abuse or unsure their case could be heard in court will know that there is an avenue for them now.

“I want kids to know that if they’ve been molested by priests, that they can come forward, and they need to get help,” he said. “If one person, one kid, comes out and gets help, then this will have been worth it.”

The abuse alleged by Bramlage happened when he was 14 and attending the Prep School, he said. It caused him to have great swings in the stability of his life, he said, and still causes him to harbor guilt that not telling someone at the time caused others to be abused later by Tarlton.

Bramlage was joined at a press conference Wednesday in Waite Park by noted clergy sex abuse attorney Jeff Anderson and St. Cloud-area personal injury attorney Michael Bryant.

Anderson reiterated a claim he has made in previous lawsuits against Tarlton, that the abbey knew of his proclivities to offend against young boys as far back at the 1950s and repeatedly allowed him to have access to children, including teaching at St. John’s until 1990.

Both Bryant and Anderson stressed that they wanted St. John’s Abbey to release an updated list of known offenders so other victims can get the help they need. Anderson said he believes the lists of offenders that the abbey has released in the past are now incomplete.

Tarlton was sent to psychiatric facilities several times for alcohol and sex offender treatment between 1960 and 1983, according to Anderson.

The abbey in April 2002 named Tarlton as one of more than a dozen priests in the abbey who faced restrictions on their movements and work activities because of allegations of sexual abuse against them. In court depositions for previous lawsuits, Tarlton has admitted he sexually abused students.