This page is dedicated to those that have died from the injuries and soul murder inflicted by Marks. Shame on the people, organizations, and institutions that repeatedly put him in locations without warnings to families and children.
The courthouse doors are now open to those injured with lifelong damages and burdens from childhood sexual abuse. The Minnesota Child Victims Act was established for those previously denied civil justice.
This open, honest, and transparent presentation displays how I can easily walk through courthouse doors not as a victim but as a ‘Victor’ with head raised and not burdened with shame, guilt or other confusions.
Follow me, I will help you step from the shadows of silence. If you have information to share, questions, cares, and concerns please contact me in confidential confidence. You can call me at home 952-471-3422, email me at email@example.com or comment at the end of this page. Bob Schwiderski
to enlarge – click on the images
A Pedophile’s Trail
The Boys of Hector
Church officials in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and in the Diocese of New Ulm allegedly shifted this pedophile priest between parishes without disclosing his alleged crimes. “The Boys of Hector” is a title given to the Marks survivors from Tyler, Hector and Green Valley, Minnesota that have reached out for help and understandings. Only the 1st letter of first names is presented, the full names have been redacted to protect the anonymity of survivors and their loving family members.
Bob Schwiderski Deposition – Age 7 Section
Ed & Betty Schwiderski Depositions
Bishop Raymond Lucker Deposition
Fr John Siebenand Deposition
In Harm’s Way History of the Schwiderski Family
Abusive priest list must be released
Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:05 pm | Updated: 6:07 pm, Wed Jan 28, 2015.
By Dan Nienaber firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW ULM — A Ramsey County judge has ordered the Diocese of New Ulm to release all the records it has pertaining to reports of sexual abuse by any of its priests prior to 1978.
That order includes a New Ulm Diocese list of priests who were credibly accused of molesting children. It is the only Catholic diocese that hasn’t made its list public, either voluntarily or through a court order. The lists were created during an investigation into abusive priests throughout the country that was started by the Catholic Church.
District Court Judge John H. Guthmann made the order through a lawsuit that has been filed by a man who is claiming he was molested by the late Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald while he was a 13-year-old altar boy at St. Thomas More Church in Lake Lillian. The man, identified as Doe 30 in court documents, reported the assaults took place at another church in Squaw Lake, which is a town northeast of Bemidji, while he was traveling with Fitzgerald.
Another man, identified as Doe 19, has filed a lawsuit claiming he was molested by Fitzgerald at another northern Minnesota church. Guthmann’s order requires the Diocese of New Ulm to release the list and other information about Fitzgerald and at least 11 other priests identified through the church investigation. That information and previously unreleased information from the Diocese of New Ulm must be turned over by Feb. 17, said Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul attorney representing Doe 30.
Guthmann’s order went against a Diocese of New Ulm claim that information about other priests wasn’t relevant. He said any prior information the diocese had about any priest could show the circumstances surrounding the abuse, how children were groomed for abuse, how vulnerable victims were and what steps were taken to keep other priests from abusing children.
“Information about any and all alleged priest abuse, reports of priest abuse, the investigation of priest abuse, or the failure to act upon reports of alleged priest abuse is directly relevant to what defendants knew or should have known prior to the abuse experienced by (the victim),” Guthmann said.
His order also denied a request by Anderson to have access to information about abusive priests that was created after 1978, which is when Fitzgerald’s abuse allegedly occurred. A protective order obtained by the diocese through an earlier motion will keep the information that is released sealed from the public.
“Defendants finally have to disclose to (Doe 30) what they knew about abusive priests, when they knew it and how they responded,” Anderson said. “We again urge them to publicly disclose this information. Only through full, public disclosure will there be transparency, justice and healing for survivors.”
The Diocese of New Ulm did not respond to a request for an interview or provide written response to the order. Officials there have not said why the diocese has not followed the lead of several other dioceses by releasing its list of credibly accused priests.
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Adds Names of 17 Priests to “Credibly Accused” List
By Jesse Marx Fri., Oct. 24 2014 at 6:00 AM
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has added 17 names to its list of credibly accused priests as part of a settlement agreement with Jeff Anderson’s law firm. Nine priests allegedly abused minors within the archdiocese and eight allegedly abused minors outside the archdiocese, but held assignments here.
The list has also been updated to include three men whose alleged crimes had previously been considered unsubstantiated. It’s not immediately clear why the status of these claims was elevated, but give it time. Some, if not all, of the files are expected to be made public in the coming weeks and months.
See also: Jeff Anderson Settles Lawsuit with Archdiocese, Sets Up New “Child Protection Protocols”
Seven of the 17 are still alive, according to the archdiocese, though we couldn’t reach any of them for comment. Most remain in Minnesota, but two reside on the coasts.
For Bob Schwiderski, the addition of Father William Marks to this list is 52 years in the making. He says he was abused a hundred times as an altar boy in Hector, and church officials responded by transferring Marks to another parish in Green Valley.
Schwiderski is working on his own list of credibly accused clerics http://minnesotasurvivorsnetwork.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/13/ — which includes several Christian denominations — and says Thursday’s disclosure, plus another one made by Winona two weeks ago, has added 94 previously unknown locations of suspected abuse to his list. Knowing where these clerics have traveled could open the door to more stories of abuse. It’s possible there are still people out there who haven’t come forward.
“Now they can say, ‘Well, they finally got that son of a bitch identified,'” Schwiderski tells us. He’s been an anchor for survivors across the state and claims to have gotten a call this morning from Archbishop John Nienstedt, alerting him that Marks was finally making it to the list.
Sounds like a classy move, but the archbishop has bigger problems to worry about if he intends to salvage what’s left of his reputation. Madeleine Baran of MPR reported Thursday that Nienstedt may have given a false statement under oath about Father Gilbert Gustafson, a convicted criminal. The archbishop testified on April 2 that he had only recently learned of Gustafson’s prosecution. However, a letter Nienstedt wrote to a parishioner in 2008 suggests otherwise.
— Send story tips to the author or follow him on Twitter @marxjesse
Thursday October 23, 2014
Another 17 priests are verified as child abusers
17 more priest offenders are identified by St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese
Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune, Updated: October 23, 2014 – 11:53 PM
The names of 17 more priests identified as child sex abusers were released Thursday, a sign of the new transparency created by the historic settlement announced last week between the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and victims’ advocates.
The priests served in 84 parishes in Minnesota, including 56 in the archdiocese. Nine priests were accused of misconduct while working in the Twin Cities archdiocese, bringing to 55 now on its list of “credibly accused” offenders.
For church officials and victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson, the joint release of information illustrates the impact of the settlement, which has both parties working together to release priest names and files.
“This is the first significant disclosure of information that arose from the settlement,” said Anderson. “It’s a very hopeful sign.”
Archbishop John Nienstedt, in a written statement, said he was “profoundly saddened” by the harm the abuse caused the victims and their families.
“Ten of these 17 men are deceased,” he wrote, “but the pain they caused is very much alive.”
For victims of abuse, the acknowledgment was a sign of progress, but long overdue.
“My family has been waiting since 1962 to be validated — 52 years,” said Bob Schwiderski, a leading victim’s advocate in Minnesota who was sexually abused as a child by the late Rev. William Marks, identified for the first time this week.
While the announcement finally acknowledges what his family had argued for a half-century, it does not erase the pain, he said. That pain from one individual priest, he said, extends to dozens of men abused by Marks while serving in the New Ulm Diocese — then part of the archdiocese — in the 1950s and 1960s.
“I personally know 27 people, including me, abused by him,” Schwiderski said.
While Anderson’s office was aware of most of the priests on the list, four names are new: Robert Clark, Donald Dummer, Harry Majerus and John Owens.
Most of the abuse occurred between the mid-1950s and the mid-1980s, the archdiocese said.
Church no longer decides
The process for deciding which abuse is “substantiated” is no longer determined solely by the archdiocese, under the lawsuit settlement reached this month. The latest list was drawn up by the archdiocese, Anderson’s office and other professionals working with them, Anderson said.
Victims’ advocates called for the priests’ abuse histories to be made public.
“We are disappointed that Catholic officials aren’t telling parents where and when these crimes happened,” said Frank Meuers, of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, in a written statement. “We suspect that in virtually every case, St. Paul church employees sat on this information for years or decades.”
Anderson expects details on the abuse committed by the priests to be released in the months ahead, along with more names.
The other priests newly listed are: Edward Beutner, Thomas Ericksen, Ambrose Filbin, Jerry Foley, Ralph Goniea, Reginald Krakovsky, Wendell Mohs, James Nickel, James Porter, Charles Potocki, James Vedro and Adalbert Wolski. Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511
Ruben Rosario: Survivors spoke, and the archbishop listened
By Ruben Rosario Posted: 09/23/2014 12:01:00 AM CDT Updated: 09/23/2014 11:03:21 PM CDT Ruben Rosario
The two men, the embattled archbishop and perhaps his harshest critic, briefly walked around Crocus Hill before settling on a bench near the Cathedral of St. Paul.
There were no lawyers. There were no handlers. It was just two men conversing on a bench.
Bob Schwiderski, who prefers to call himself a survivor, and not a victim, of clergy sexual abuse, did most of the talking at the Aug. 20 meeting. John Nienstedt, who heads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, did most of the listening.
Schwiderski is a former altar boy from Hector, Minn. He was repeatedly molested in the early 1960s by a now long-deceased priest also suspected of victimizing others during his parish assignments in Hector, Green Valley and other locales decades ago. Schwiderski has over the years carved a niche as the state’s most outspoken crusader for survivors like himself.
He has very publicly locked horns with church leaders, lambasting them time and again for protecting abusive priests instead of vulnerable children. He would like to see Nienstedt resign in the wake of publicly revealed mishandlings of recent clergy sex abuse cases.
“We’ve had a history,” he told me this week.
Yet, when asked, Schwiderski willingly offered Nienstedt some advice on how best to connect and meet with survivors like himself. He couched his response in hunting terms that day.
“When I go pheasant hunting,” Schwiderski said he recalls telling the archbishop, “I put on the appropriate clothes; I oil up the old shotgun, get my hunting license and go to where the pheasants are.
You, on the other hand, get to wear the pretty clothes, are given a new shotgun with ammunition and then you sit behind your desk in Crocus Hill and think the pheasants will come to you.”
Nienstedt apparently took the analogy to heart. On Saturday, inside a small conference room at Wayzata’s downtown public library, Nienstedt met with nearly 20 survivors and relatives of survivors. As on the park bench last month, he mostly listened.
Fathers, sons, daughters, husbands and wives at the session spoke through tears but with moving passion and emotion about their own victimization and the ripple effects it caused them and their family. The ripples ranged from substance abuse, loss of jobs and broken or strained marriages to alienation from children and loss of trust in the church.
Most expressed what in biblical terms would be described as righteous anger.
“They have never sat down and shared their stories with a higher-up, no less the head of the church,” said Schwiderski, who arranged the session. “Some told me it was the most emotional and also the most empowering support group meeting they have ever attended. I give Nienstedt some credit for showing up.”
But he gives much of the credit to Vicar General Charles Lachowitzer for working behind the scenes to persuade Nienstedt — not exactly a gregarious people person — to leave the lawyers at home and reach out more to victims.
Schwiderski said he hesitantly reached out Lachowitzer after he read a profile of Lachowitzer in this column a few months after the longtime Eagan church pastor was appointed to the post late last year.
“I was cautioned that he might be just another slick guy, but he seemed like someone you could approach,” Schwiderski said.
He and Lachowitzer met four times behind closed doors. Again, no lawyers in the room, just two men conversing.
“Unlike Nienstedt, he’s the kind of guy you could almost share a blue joke with,” Schwiderski said.
Archbishop John Nienstedt and Bob Schwiderski, a survivor of child clergy abuse and critic of the archbishop, were photographed together during a meeting near the Cathedral of St. Paul on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Bob Schwiderski)
Lachowitzer agreed to attend a reconciliation and healing gathering with parishioners and a half-dozen survivors at the Church of St. Paul in Ham Lake in early May. Seven adult residents of the area who had never before revealed their molestations took the opportunity to do so after the session, Schwiderski said.
“It was very powerful,” he said of the revelations.
At this past Saturday’s support group meeting, it was Nienstedt’s turn to face the music. As a victim of childhood sex abuse and a raised Catholic, I was invited as long as I did not identify survivors and relatives in the room or disclose identifying details.
Wearing street clothes and a dark Knights of Columbus polo shirt, Nienstedt sat between Schwiderski and the Rev. Tim Norris, pastor of the Ham Lake church. He had a pained look on his face as men and women seated across from him and around a long rectangular table took turns giving victim-impact statements. Some had written down their thoughts. Others said what came to them.
He heard a lump-in-the-throat tale from a woman raped by a priest when she was a child. Her husband, in tears, spoke about how it took years for his wife to finally reveal the rape and for him to connect the source of the anger and other problems that almost cost them their marriage.
He heard from a young man who nearly destroyed his life with alcohol to kill the pain of the abuse. The man’s father, who also attended, told Nienstedt he also was a Knights of Columbs member and was active in his church until his son disclosed what the family priest had done. He was disappointed that the church did little to the abuser and pretty much turned its back on his son when he reached out to officials for help.
“I’m no longer Catholic,” he said.
“I’m so angry right now at you,” said another man also abused by a priest. “But I also need to thank you for being here.”
The father of a man abused by a church staffer when he was 12 held out hope that the session might lead to something constructive.
“I’m doubtful, but as a young man said at the meeting, this is an opportunity for him (Nienstedt) to do something,” the man told me Tuesday. “This is the first support group that I have been where people actually went into the details of what happened to them. If he doesn’t do anything with this … well then, he’s a monster.”
Nienstedt shared that he long wanted to be a priest while growing up. He never imagined that priests could do such things. He thanked the survivors for helping him to better understand “such evil from a gut level.”
“Their stories have been very touching and further encourage me to continue in our direction of protecting children from any abuse, and holding ourselves accountable for what has happened while attempting to bring hope and healing to victims and survivors, their families and their friends,” Nienstedt told me in an email Tuesday.
At the meeting Saturday, Schwiderski pointed out to Nienstedt that the archdiocese, in spite of overwhelming evidence and three pending civil lawsuits, has yet to include his abuser on the list of credibly accused priests from Minnesota. He then handed Nienstedt documents about the priest, who died in 1979.
“Here,” he said. “I’m sick and tired of carrying this. No longer. This is your burden now.”
It was his way of putting the responsibility of ultimate accountability back at the source.
“I still don’t trust they will get it all right,” he said. “But at least he appears to be trying. There comes a time when you cannot just stay stuck in the past. You have to push forward and move on and hopefully make things better.”
- Sep 18: St. Paul, Collegeville priests sex abuse alleged in new lawsuits
- Sep 17: Priest facing sex abuse suit resigns from St. Thomas
- Sep 15: St. Paul archbishop, heal the damage, St. Thomas theologians urge
- Sep 10: Twin Cities priest’s parishes had suspicions, but archdiocese did little
- Sep 7: Ex-Minnesota priest should face U.S. charges, India says
- Sep 5: Ex-Hastings priest pleads not guilty to raping altar boy
- Sep 3: St. Paul archdiocese pedophile priest lawsuit may proceed
- Aug 26: South St. Paul priest abuse trial delayed; diocese wants it moved
- Aug 25: Ex-BCA head will oversee allegations of sexual misconduct by Twin Cities clergy
- Aug 20: Twin Cities archdiocese, priest abuse victim settle; first settlement under new law
- Aug 11: Years ago, he was a young Minnesota priest — and alleged rapist
Tuesday September 23, 2014
Archbishop hears victims’ stories
The historic session gave abused a chance to share how lives were shattered.
By JEAN HOPFENSPERGER email@example.com
It was a first in Minnesota, and perhaps a first in the nation. A support group for survivors of clergy sex abuse hosting the man who represents the church they believe betrayed them — Archbishop John Nienstedt.
The ground rules for last weekend’s meeting quietly were laid in advance. No media allowed. No robes or collar on the archbishop. The survivors would be respectful.
Held in a suburban library conference room, the unlikely meeting allowed survivors to share their painful stories with Minnesota’s top Catholic leader and provided Nienstedt a rare and inside look at the impact of abuse.
“I really didn’t think he’d be there until he actually showed up,” said Shawn Plocher, a Minneapolis man who was abused as a child. “This is a group of hurting people who want some sense of healing or closure. … I’m hoping things are heading in the right direction.”
Nienstedt said after the session that he was “honored and thankful that so many have shared their experiences with me.”
“I have been deeply moved by the devastating stories I have heard …” he said in an e-mail. “Their stories have been very touching and further encourage me to continue in our direction of protecting children from any abuse …’’
David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said he was unaware of any similar event elsewhere. Former Twin Cities Archbishop Harry Flynn met with Louisiana clergy abuse victims in a prayer group several times, he said. And SNAP met with some bishops at the 2002 U.S. Conference of Bishops meeting in Dallas that hammered out the church’s policies on clergy sexual abuse.
“In Dallas we heard, ‘This isn’t the last time you hear from us,’ ” said Clohessy. “Without exception, we heard nothing when we got home.”
Conversations spark forum
The meeting originated in conversations between the archdiocese and Bob Schwiderski, former Minnesota SNAP director. Schwiderski said he had suggested the archbishop attend a support group, provided members approved.
“I was concerned about an opportunity for survivors to confront some of the anger they had because the church did not listen to them before,” Schwiderski said.
It wasn’t supposed to be a church-bashing session or a lovefest, he said. Just the opening of a door that had always been locked shut.
The group met in a conference room in the Wayzata Public Library. The shades on the glass doors were drawn, and about 25 people — abuse victims and some family members — gathered around a large table.
Introductions were first names only. Each person had three minutes to speak his or her piece. The format was identical to other meetings of the support group, said Schwiderski — except one of the men at the table happened to be in charge of the archdiocese.
Plocher, 42, who said the abuse drove him to drink and use drugs, addictions from which he only now is recovering, said he reminded the archbishop that continuing psychological care is critical for survivors.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but I know in my case that door was closed when the civil case was over,” said Plocher, recalling his remarks.
Mike, the father of a boy abused in the 1990s in a Hopkins church, said he told the archbishop about how both his church and the archdiocese did nothing to help his family.
“The church should be a safe haven for kids, not for pedophiles,” said Mike, who didn’t want to reveal his last name.
Schwiderski, accompanied by his daughter and son-in-law, said his message was that the impact of abuse does not stop with the child. He said he never hugged his daughter while she was growing up, because the priest who abused him used to hug him. Without those hugs, he said, his daughter grew up thinking he didn’t love her.
The archbishop listened to the group’s stories, as did the other invited guest, the Rev. Tim Norris, the priest at the Church of St. Paul in Ham Lake, which held the first meeting between survivors and an archdiocese vicar general in May.
“Their suggestions will be extremely helpful as we move forward,” Nienstedt said.
Tough sell for some
It was a tough sell for some group members to attend, said Schwiderski. Some were nervous about the possibility of seeing a collar, which sparks memories of their own abuse, he said. Hence the no-collar rule. Some worried that the archbishop might “use what I say against me.” Others worried the media would show up and wanted to protect their anonymity.
Others, however, joined in with little concern about sharing their story with an archbishop.
“The veneer has worn off,” said Mike. “At one point, I would have been intimidated.”
When the meeting was over, there were “handshakes and thank yous,” Schwiderski said.
But Clohessy said the historic gathering signified an archbishop “is under fire.” Public appearances are a common tactic to diffuse tension and shore up support, he said.
In addition, Nienstedt participated Monday night in his first “Mass of Healing, Reconciliation and Hope” at St. Patrick’s Church in Inver Grove Heights. Participants could pray with clergy and lay professionals after the service, as well as obtain information on postabortion resources and annulments, according to the archdiocese.
Plocher is hoping that the stories from Saturday’s meeting stay with the archbishop. He sent Nienstedt an e-mail Monday thanking him for attending, adding, “You can’t change the past, but you can have a significant role in determining the future.”
Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511
Bob Schwiderski releases map of accused Christian clerics in Minnesota
|Artwork by Martin Ontiveros|
For decades, Bob Schwiderski has been a voice for victims of clerical abuse. He’s blanketed the neighborhoods of accused priests with fliers and held press conferences to encourage others to speak out.
This week, Schwiderski kicked up his crusade. He released an updated version of a map he created showing where each of the allegations of sexual misconduct that he’s recorded over the years occurred and by whom. There’s 250 names total, and they include not only Catholic priests and monks, but Episcopal and Protestant pastors and their staff. You’ll also find four nuns.
The map is entitled “The Hunting Grounds” because Swiderski believes that places of worship, no matter the denomination, attract sexual predators. “Some people know that if they present themselves in this godly way they’ll have access to children,” he tells us. “And the families are trusting of the people who work in the churches.”
|Bob Schwiderski via Facebook|
He would have included allegations against leaders of other religions, but he doesn’t know of any. And even if he did, he’d need a second source. Every person on the map has at least two allegations against them, he says. Another list he keeps private includes 261 Christians.
His careful approach of naming people publicly, which he honed as the head of the Minnesota chapter of SNAP, has the benefit of bringing victims together. Schwiderski asks everyone who comes forward with an allegation to contact their old friends and classmates, looking for similar stories of abuse. “All of a sudden, there’s two or three people and they haven’t talked in 20 years,” he says, “but now they have people to walk forward with.”
Many of the names on Schwiderski’s list have shown up on other ones compiled by Jeff Anderson, whose law firm represents victims, and by the dioceses of Minnesota, which were compelled to name “credibly accused” priests last year.
That is, except for the Diocese of New Ulm. Clerics and attorneys there have argued that two living priests deny the allegations and therefore don’t want their identity made public.
Schwiderski’s own list shows dozens of Catholic priests with connections to New Ulm, including William Marks. Schwiderski says Marks abused him a hundred times as an altar boy in Hector, and when caught, disappeared into another parish.
“The Hunting Grounds” touches 345 cities in all but two of the state’s counties. Not everyone on the list is accused of abusing minors. Some are accused of having sexual relations with consenting yet vulnerable adults.
Check out the map on the next page.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sex Abuse Scandal Worsens for Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and The Diocese of New Ulm
Lawsuit identifies Father William J. Marks
MINNETONKA – http://www.clergyabuseinminnesota.com-Minnetonka Attorney Patrick Noaker filed his third lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and his second lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of New Ulm this morning identifying a second alleged pedophile priest, William J. Marks within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as the Diocese of New Ulm. Noaker filed suits against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis early this year for alleged abuse by another priest in the Archdioceses, Fr. Thomas Stitts and against The Diocese of New Ulm for alleged abuse by a priest in the Diocese, Father Francis Markey.
In this Second Judicial District Court lawsuit John Doe 107 alleges the Archdiocese and Diocese “allowed Fr. Marks to have unsupervised and unlimited access to children, including teenagers, at St. Dionysus in Tyler, Minnesota, St. John’s Catholic Church in Hector, Minnesota, and St. Clotilde in Green Valley, Minnesota, all located for a period of time within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis prior to the formation of The Diocese of New Ulm and under the responsibility of the Archbishop and Bishop.” He goes on to allege Marks was a priest that both the Archdiocese and The Diocese “knew or should have known posed a risk of pedophilic harm to children.”
“We don’t know how many other children Marks molested at these parishes,” Noaker said. “Pedophile priests do not stop at one. Trusting children in rural locations are particularly vulnerable to unsupervised priests like Marks. We are asking for those with any information to contacts us.”
Noaker, who has spent more than a decade uncovering the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal in Minnesota and across the United States, has amassed an extensive library of information on Marks and other abusers. Noaker recently teamed-up with attorneys Leander James and Craig Vernon of James, Vernon & Weeks, P.A. who have been involved in similar cases uncovering scandals in Oregon, Montana, Washington State and Hawaii. Like those states, Minnesota recently passed a new law, called the Child Victims Act (“CVA”) that gives new rights to adults abused as children. The CVA revives sexual abuse claims previously barred by the statute of limitations. Abuse survivors now have a window of time to file their claims, until May, 2016.
“Thanks to our Legislature and Governor Dayton, my team and I now have the legal tools to represent survivors and demand full disclosure from institutions who harbored pedophiles and covered-up incidences of child molestation,” said Noaker.
“Through similar laws, we have uncovered pedophile clergy operating in other states. We’ve helped protect kids and held the offending institutions accountable,” said Vernon.
“Through subpoenas and document demands we can now force disclosure of the identity of pedophile priests and expose cover-up,” added James, who was a principal negotiator of a $166.1 million settlement with the Northwest Jesuits, a Roman Catholic order. That settlement included an unprecedented list of non-monetary terms including public disclosure of priests identified as perpetrators.
Noaker emphasized that “survivors like our client who find the courage to come forward empower us to bring them and society long-overdue justice.”
For information about the Child Victims Act, these lawsuits and related information please go to www.clergyabuseinminnesota.com.
FOR MEDIA ONLY: For digital images, a copy of the complaint, or an interview with Patrick Noaker, Leander James or Craig Vernon, please contact Patrick Noaker (612) 839-1080, firstname.lastname@example.org or Craig Vernon (888) email@example.com. Copies of the Filed Complaint can be found at http://noakerlaw.com/crime-victim-support/
Patrick Noaker, Noaker Law Firm LLC 601 Carlson Parkway, Suite 1050, Minnetonka, MN 55305 (612) 839-1080 firstname.lastname@example.org
5 decades of alarms and concerns “unanswered” by archdiocese & diocese of New Ulm
For Immediate Release: Monday, November 18, 2013
Statement by Bob Schwiderski, State Director, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
I have been asked to comment on the personal injury Summons and Complaint of John Doe 107 vs. the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of New Ulm.
In 1962, Bishop Schladweiler of Diocese of New Ulm, and Archbishop Binz of the Archdiocese of St. Paul were informed of acts of childhood sexual abuse by Fr. William Marks. Over the next 5 decades, the diocese and archdiocese received more information about sexual abuse by Marks. The information came from individuals, me included, from the Minnesota communities of Hector, Green Valley, Glencoe, Cottonwood, Gent, Marshall, and Milroy.
Marks assignment history: Fr William Marks: PEDOPHILE https://mnsnap.wordpress.com/william-joseph-marks-abusive-priest/
Marks victims, a group I call the “Boys of Hector,” hoped the information would serve the church as an emergency alarm and ignite pastoral care, healing, and recovery for clergy sexual abuse victims, their loving family members, and their parishes.
The alarms, concerns, and hopes turned to unsuccessful efforts to convince diocesan and archdiocesan officials to take the necessary steps to address these issues and establish programs and policies of clergy sexual abuse victim response and child protection.
Over the decades, our concerns and hopes met deceit, callousness, and recklessness from the diocese and archdiocese as victims died from suicide and disease, suffered crippling physical or mental illnesses, and lived with shattered faith.
Adding insult to our hopes and concerns, the archdiocese and diocese shockingly orchestrated behind the scenes actions opposing child protection remedies and corrective civil justice legislation for victims of childhood sexual abuse.
The Minnesota Child Victims Act, established this year, renews the alarms, concerns and the hopes of the approximate 27 “Boys of Hector. ” We applaud, John Doe 107 for walking through courthouse doors to hold the archdiocese and diocese accountable for his injuries and damages from clergy sexual abuse.
Copies of the Filed Complaint can be found at http://noakerlaw.com/crime-victim-support/
KDUZ Radio – Another Lawsuit Filed Against Southern MN Pastor
19 Nov 13
Another lawsuit has been filed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, by a man who claims he was one of at least 27 molested by a cleric who served in Hastings, Hector, and other southern Minnesota towns.
Minnesota News Network reports the personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of John Doe 107 names the late Revered William Marks as his abuser, and also names the Diocese of New Ulm.
Bob Schwiderski of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says he was abused by the same priest in the early 60′s and he is appalled by the refusal of church officials to name every priest credibly accused of molesting children — referring to the story outlined in Luke 25-through-37. Schwiderski says “They have not been good Samaritans. As they have been on that path, riding their donkeys, and they see those lying at the side of the road bleeding they refuse to get off their donkeys and help those that have been harmed”.
Marks served in Shakopee , Northfield, Hastings, Faribault, Manannah Township, Litchfield, Tyler, Hector and GreenValley from the 1930′s until his death in 1979.
The Free Press, Mankato, MN November 19, 2013
Diocese faces new sex assault allegations
By Dan Nienaber
—- — NEW ULM — A Minnetonka attorney has filed a second lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, claiming officials there allowed a priest to continue working at churches under its control when they should have known he was sexually abusing teenagers.
The diocese responded to the allegations by Patrick Noaker and his client, identified as John Doe 107, with a news release listing the locations Rev. William Marks worked while he was a serving as a priest from 1936 through 1979. The diocese in New Ulm wasn’t created until 1957, but the allegations claim the boy was sexually abused from about 1957 to 1960 while he was an altar boy at the Church of St. John in Hector.
The incident will be investigated, but there is no additional information at this time, the news release said. It also said the diocese regrets the “devastating effects of sexual misconduct on the part of clergy” and that it is working diligently to provide a safe environment at its churches.
A similar response was issued after Noaker filed his first lawsuit against the diocese in June that claims another client was sexually abused by Rev. Francis Markey while Markey was serving as a substitute priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Henderson. The victim was about 15 years old when he was allegedly assaulted in 1982.
A third lawsuit, filed in September by another attorney, names two women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Rev. David Roney while he was serving as a priest in Willmar during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
All three priests are dead. The lawsuits claim the diocese should have known the priests were pedophiles when the incidents allegedly occurred.
The other church in the diocese where Marks served is the Church of St. Clotilde in Green Valley. He also served at churches in Tyler, Faribault, Northfield and Litchfield while they were under the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which also is named in the lawsuit.
New Ulm Diocese Named in Lawsuit
Tuesday, November 19, 2013, By Mitch Keegan, Anchor, KEYC News 12 Midday
The Diocese of New Ulm has been named in a new lawsuit filed over alleged sexual abuse by a priest.
Minnetonka attorney Patrick Noaker filed the lawsuit in Ramsey County on behalf of a Colorado plaintiff referred to as John Doe 107.
The complaint says Father William Marks, who died in 1979, sexually abused the plaintiff while serving at the Church of St. John in Hector.
The lawsuit also names the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which was Father Marks’ jurisdiction before the New Ulm Diocese was created in 1957.
It claims that both diocese knew about Father Marks and allowed him to continue working around children.
A statement from the Diocese of New Ulm says they will investigate the claims of the new lawsuit, but have no other comment at this time.
Diocese named in another suit over alleged clergy abuse
Involves priest who served in Hector
November 19, 2013, By Kevin Sweeney – Journal Editor , The Journal
NEW ULM – The Diocese of New Ulm has been named as a defendant in a second lawsuit that accuses the diocese of failing to protect parishioners from sexual abuse from a priest that it should have known was a sexual predator.
The lawsuit was filed in Ramsey County Monday on behalf of a defendant identified as John Doe 107, now an adult residing in Colorado. The suit names the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of New Ulm.
The lawsuit claims the plaintiff was sexually abused by the Rev. William J. Marks, who was a priest in the two dioceses from 1948 to 1979. Marks, who died in November 1979, was assigned to parishes including St. Dionysus in Tyler, St. John’s Catholic Church in Hector, and St. Clotilde in Green Valley. All were located within the Archdiocese until 1959, when the Diocese of New Ulm was formed.
The suit alleges that the plaintiff was abused by Fr. Marks from 1957 to 1960, when he was 10 to 14 years old and served as an altar boy at St. John’s in Hector. The plaintiff said Marks would hug the boy hard, and slide his hands into and over the boy’s pants, usually before and after mass when the boy was changing into or out of his altar boy robes.
The Diocese of New Ulm issued a statement Monday saying it will be investigating the claims in the new lawsuit but has no facts to report about the claims at this time.
“The Diocese of New Ulm deeply regrets the long-lasting and devastating effects of sexual misconduct on the part of clergy,” the statement said. “Such misconduct requires positive action on our part, and we have been strengthening our systems and procedures in order to address this grave issue by following the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” established in June 2002.”
The lawsuit claims that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and later the Diocese of New Ulm should have been aware of Marks’ “sexual misconduct, impulses and behavior,” and failed to protect the plaintiff and other potential victims, from harm.
The suit seeks monetary damages in excess of $50,000
Patrick Noacker, attorney with the Noacker Law Firm in Minnetonka that filed the suit, said he did not have information indicating whether there had been previous complaints about Marks that would have given the diocese knowledge of Marks’ activities.
Noacker is the same attorney that filed a suit in June 2013 naming the diocese as a defendant for abuse allegedly committed by another priest, the Rev. Francis Markey, when he was pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Henderson in 1982.
In its statement, the Diocese of New Ulm said it has been “diligent in its efforts to establish a safe environment program that educates clergy, teachers, parents, and students, and that helps them identify and prevent sexual misconduct. We are committed to offering help and healing to anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct and to preventing this terrible crime from occurring in the diocese.”
The diocese asks anyone who has suffered sexual abuse, exploitation, or harassment by a priest, deacon, pastor, or pastoral administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm to report the misconduct to the Victim Assistance Coordinator or the Bishop’s Delegate in Matters Pertaining to Sexual Misconduct, 1400 6th Street North, New Ulm, MN 56073; phone: 507-359-2966.
Minnesota: Former altar boy sues church, alleging abuse by priest in late 1950s
By Emily Gurnon, email@example.com Posted: 11/18/2013 12:01:00 AM CST
The Catholic Church was sued Monday over the alleged actions of a priest who served in Hastings and several southern Minnesota towns, including the sexual abuse of a boy. A state victims advocate said he himself was one of at least 27 alleging abuse by the cleric.
The Rev. William J. Marks worked in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of New Ulm from 1948 to 1979, according to the lawsuit, filed Monday in Ramsey County District Court.
The anonymous plaintiff, identified as John Doe 107, was between 10 and 14 when he was abused by Marks between 1957 and 1960, the lawsuit said. The abuse took place at St. John’s Catholic Church in Hector when the plaintiff was an altar boy, the suit said.
New lawsuits are being filed on old cases because of a 2013 state law, the Child Victims Act, that creates a three-year window for civil lawsuits by victims of child abuse.
Marks’ victim alleges he abused him by “hugging (him) hard and sliding his hands down (the boy’s) pants, and touching the inside of (his) thigh … while (the boy) was changing into and out of his altar boy robes before and after Mass,” the suit said.
Marks died in 1979 and is buried in the cemetery of a Green Valley church where he worked.
John Doe 107’s attorney, Patrick Noaker of Minnetonka, said he did not know how many other victims Marks had.
“Pedophile priests do not stop at one,” Noaker said in a statement. “Trusting children in rural locations are particularly vulnerable to unsupervised priests like Marks.”
One man who said he also was abused by Marks at St. John’s issued a statement Monday. Bob Schwiderski, the state director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said he is one of 27 he calls the “Boys of Hector” who reported abuse to officials of either the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis or the Diocese of New Ulm, which formed in 1958 in a geographical area previously covered by the archdiocese.
“Over the decades, our concerns and hopes met deceit, callousness, and recklessness from the diocese and archdiocese as victims died from suicide and disease, suffered crippling physical or mental illnesses, and lived with shattered faith,” Schwiderski said in a statement.
Schwiderski, along with three other altar boys, sued the New Ulm Diocese in 1994. He settled out of court.
A church assignment history for Marks, provided by Schwiderski, shows the priest serving at St. Mark in Shakopee beginning in the 1930s. From there he went to St. Dominic in Northfield, the former Guardian Angels parish in Hastings and churches in Faribault, Manannah Township and Litchfield before arriving in 1945 at St. Dionysius in Tyler. From there he went to Hector and then Green Valley.
Noaker, the attorney, asked any others who have information about abusive priests to come forward.
The current plaintiff lives in Colorado, according to the suit.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said it was investigating the claims of the lawsuit. Marks became an employee of the Diocese of New Ulm beginning in 1958, when it was formed, said archdiocese spokesman James Accurso.
The New Ulm Diocese did not immediately respond late Monday to a request for comment.
Emily Gurnon can be reached at 651-228-5522. Follow her at twitter.com/emilygurnon.
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