Former student files fraud suit against St. John’s Prep and Abbey

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A former St. John’s Prep School student sued the school and St. John’s Abbey on Tuesday, alleging fraud for allowing a monk to continue interacting with students after they received an allegation of sexual misconduct against the monk.

Jeramiah “Jerry” D. McCarthy’s lawsuit accuses the school and abbey of knowing as early as the mid-1960s that the Rev. Bruce Wollmering had been “sexually inappropriate” with a child. The lawsuit accuses them of concealing the allegations against Wollmering, and it accuses Wollmering of abusing McCarthy in 1971.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Stearns County District Court, accuses Wollmering of having a history of sexual misconduct with students. Wollmering was a counselor and psychology professor at St. John’s who died in February at the age of 68.

Abbot John Klassen in July 2006 announced that credible sexual misconduct allegations had been made against Wollmering and two other members of the St. John’s monastic community who hadn’t been named publicly previously. At that time, Klassen said the abbey learned of the Wollmering allegations in 2004 and that they involved sexual misconduct in the early 1980s against a former St. John’s University student.

The abbey released a statement Tuesday that didn’t directly address the allegations against Wollmering or when it first learned of allegations against him.

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Former student files fraud suit against St. John’s Prep and Abbey
By David Unze
dunze@stcloudtimes.com
December 8, 2009

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Topics: Bruce Wollmering, John Klassen, Patrick Noaker

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