Regarding Schulte, Puerto Rico and Rey Rivera

Plaintiff alleges that he “did not have knowledge of the injuries relating to the sexual abuse . . . until June 2010,” after an investigator interviewed him in May 2010 regarding another potential victim of Father Francisco. (Id. at 4.) This investigation led to the execution of Plaintiff’s affidavit of May 7, 2010, detailing the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Father Francisco; Plaintiff filed this affidavit as documentation in support of the habeas corpus petition of Reinaldo J. Rivera, another alleged victim of Father Francisco’s predatory sexual abuse at the boarding school. (Docket No. 41-1.)

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Southern Fried Homicide (Rivera/Schulte)

CSRA serial killer Reinaldo Rivera will be the focus of an episode of “Southern Fried Homicide” on Investigation Discovery tonight. Rivera was convicted in January 2004 of malice murder, three counts of rape, four counts of aggravated sodomy, four counts of aggravated assault, burglary and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. He was sentenced to death.

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Regarding Michelle Soldo Consulting / Backous

On Monday, I learned that Michelle Soldo, an attorney from St. Paul, Minnesota, is conducting an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Father Timothy Backous.

After viewing a draft of this post earlier today Ms. Soldo wrote, in part, that she is “an experienced and independent fact-finder with no vested interest in the outcome of any investigation I conduct.” While that may be, Ms. Soldo’s findings are reportedly provided only to those associated with Saint John’s Abbey. This is not a recipe for truth and transparency.

[Note: If you have information regarding sexual or any other misconduct Father Backous or any other individual, please contact law enforcement, an attorney or a therapist/advocate before working with anyone associated with the Saint John's Abbey.]

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MPR: Betrayed By Silence

[Webmaster's Note: At least eight monks from St. John's Abbey have ties to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Like the leadership at the abbey, the leadership at the archdiocese knew and covered up abuse for decades.]

(MPR) For decades, the archbishops who led the Catholic archdiocese in the Twin Cities maintained that they were doing everything they could to protect children from priests who wanted to rape them.

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St. John’s abbot reacts to abuse response criticism

(SC Times) COLLEGEVILLE – St. John’s Abbey Abbot John Klassen this week defended his response to clergy sex abuse allegations, issuing a statement that says the abbey strives for transparency and the truth, even when allegations against a monk are unfounded.

A 1,051-word statement from Klassen this week to the St. John’s Prep School community included his “personal reflections” on whether the abbey’s responses to abuse allegations have “fallen short of what is expected.”

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Monk Perpetrator Has Secret Identity… To Sell Online

What message does it send when one of Saint John’s Abbey’s most notorious sex offenders (including alleged acts of sodomy) takes on a new, secret, identity in order to sell flower cards in the abbey’s online store?

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Message from Abbot John Klassen

Dear SJP Community,

Recent news stories about clergy misconduct, and especially those involving monks from Saint John’s Abbey, have prompted questions and concerns from many of the people who care most deeply about Saint John’s Abbey, Saint John’s Prep and Saint John’s University. They have shared with me their disappointment and frustration. In particular, many have questioned whether our responses to allegations of abuse by members of our community have fallen short of what is expected of the Abbey. One alumnus put it directly in a recent letter: “I am asking where is the public voice of Saint John’s as it leads with Benedictine, Christian values…?”

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1969: St. Scholastica and Sexual Abuse (Duluth)

[Webmaster's Note: Benedictine Brother David Hemmerling was the founder and director of the New Direction program from approximately 1966 until 1993. During that time, the program was primarily associated with the College of Saint Scholastica (Duluth, MN), Saint Vincent College (Latrobe, PA) and Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville, MO). In 2012 and 2013, David Hemmerling was interviewed at a nursing home in Missouri on three occasions. Almost twenty New Direction participants and parents were interviewed. At least six victims of sexual misconduct (by Hemmerling) have been identified. Four were interviewed. Former and current Saint Vincent College and Saint Vincent Archabbey personnel were also interviewed. The following is based on those interviews, emails and public information. Except for a short newspaper article, officials at the College of Saint Scholastica and within the Duluth County Attorney's office were able to keep Hemmerling's sexual misconduct a secret, allowing Hemmerling to continue to sexually abuse students at two more colleges.]

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1971: Juvenile Court Used for Adult (Duluth)

Hemmerling was charged with inducing a scholarship recipient to come to Duluth, where, court records show, Hemmerling “did practice sodomy” on the youth … [County Attorney Keith] Brownell confirmed the negotiations were largely to avoid publicity on the case, juvenile records normally are not open.

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1969: “The New Direction” at Saint Scholastica (Duluth)

Recently inaugurated in Duluth was a youth program entitled “The New Direction.” The social and recreational group with no religious or organizational affiliations, The New Direction is composed of high school students and their adult advisors, a number of whom are CSS students. The young people of Duluth participating in the program represent no particular religious denomination, area of residence within the city, or economic status.

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Opinion: DELIVERANCE (Duluth)

The Diocese of Duluth, for its part, produced a letter of recommendation from the Abbot John Klassen, whose flip-flops and vacillations have become legendary. Any eight-year old could tell the Diocese was dissembling and passing-the-buck. Throughout my lifetime any ordinary Catholic approaching the Diocesan Tribunal on a matter of divorce, marriage, re-marriage, baptism, etc., has been required to produce a mountain of documents in support of the case. But, with Timothy Backous, Bishop Paul Sirba accepted one piece of paper from an unreliable source. (Hasn’t the Bishop been paying attention to news-media in the Twin Cities? The Abbot’s credibility has been challenged before the public continuously now for several years.)

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Priest on leave from Essentia, St. Michael’s parish after allegations aired

(Duluth News Tribune) A Benedictine priest has been placed on administrative leave from Essentia Health and has been asked to discontinue assisting at St. Michael’s parish in Duluth after allegations resurfaced that he sexually molested a boy during a choir tour in Europe 25 years ago.

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Essentia Health Statement re Backous

STATEMENT FROM ESSENTIA HEALTH

Following renewed accusations of misconduct alleged to have occurred over 20 years ago, Fr. Tim Backous offered to take leave from his current role as VP, Mission Integration and Benedictine Sponsorship for Essentia Health.

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Abbot John Klassen defends former St. John’s headmaster accused of abuse

(Fox 9) Abbot John Klassen, of St. John’s Abbey, described the sexual abuse allegations leveled against a former St. John’s Prep School headmaster “unsubstantiated” as he defended the integrity of Rev. Timothy Backous — and the victim’s family says that’s disturbing.
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Archdiocese Statement Regarding Backous

STATEMENT
OF BISHOP ANDREW COZZENS
REGARDING FATHER TIMOTHY BACKOUS, O.S.B.
June 11, 2014

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Clergy abuse allegation surfaces against ex-St. John’s Prep headmaster

(MPR) A former member of a central Minnesota boys’ choir says a priest at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville abused him while on a trip to Europe more than two decades ago.

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Letter to Catholic Church officials calls for Father Timothy Backous’ removal from ministry

(City Pages) In March, two top Catholic Church officials in Minnesota sat down with the editorial board of the St. Cloud Times to discuss the ongoing clergy sex abuse scandal. Bishop Donald Kettler of the St. Cloud Diocese and Abbot John Klassen of St. John’s Abbey both agreed — there were no priests left in ministry with creditable accusations against them.
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Backous on Remorse

Are we to understand that saying we’re sorry is appropriate only
because it’s the correct legal or political posture? Can’t genuine
human sorrow and embarrassment be seen as a strength?
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Backous on Failure

But now, just a short time later, we are left to face our failure from a startling new perspective: we must must accept it as our own. We have no one to hide behind, no one to blame, no one to mitigate the circumstances. – Fr. Timothy Backous (2000)

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Family accuses Ex-St. John’s Prep headmaster of abuse

(SC Times) St. John’s Abbey Abbot John Klassen on Tuesday called allegations of inappropriate sexual contact by a former St. John’s Prep School headmaster against a former member of the St. John’s Boys’ Choir unsubstantiated and defended his integrity and character.

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