First Bishop in the United States Sued for Coercion
In 2015, Minnesota Bishop Michael Hoeppner Suppressed Report of Child Sexual Abuse
Survivor to Speak Publicly for the First Time Today About Abuse by Fr. Roger Grundhaus, Former Vicar General of the Diocese of Crookston
(St. Paul, MN) – At a news conference today in St. Paul, attorney Jeff Anderson, a child sexual abuse survivor, and a Minnesota priest will announce the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of the survivor naming Bishop Michael Hoeppner and the Diocese of Crookston as defendants. This is the first time in the United States a bishop has been individually sued for coercion.
“The coercion and concealment in real-time demonstrate the crisis continues unabated,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson. “This is another Catholic bishop who made a conscious choice to conceal a crime and then commit coercion to keep a secret.”
In 2010, the survivor, who was exploring whether to become a church Deacon, reported his abuse by Fr. Roger Grundhaus in approximately 1971 to Bishop Hoeppner. Hoeppner advised the survivor to tell no one of the sexual abuse. In 2015, the Diocese of Crookston was court-ordered to produce all information on clergy accused of child sexual abuse. However, Fr. Grundhaus was not included in the required, court-ordered disclosure. After the court order was issued, the bishop actively suppressed the survivor’s abuse report by threatening harm to his vocation as a deacon and his son’s career as a priest in the Diocese of Crookston and coercing the survivor into signing a document stating the sexual abuse never happened.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM (CST)
Jeff Anderson & Associates, PA
366 Jackson St., Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101
The Complaint and other information will be posted to our website this morning under “News & Events.”