ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) – A Minnesota man filed a lawsuit Tuesday against St. John’s Abbey, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the St. Luke Institute, alleging they should have known the priest who abused him was a sexual predator.
The lawsuit claims Rev. Fran Hoefgen sexually abused the victim between 1989 and 1993, when he was 10 to 13 years old. The alleged abuse occurred during Rev. Hoefgen’s tenure at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hastings, Minn.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants should have known Hoefgen was a danger to children because he sexually abused another boy at the St. Boniface School in Cold Spring, Minn. in 1983.
Hoefgen confessed to the St. Boniface abuse in a signed statement to police, but was never charged. Instead, the priest was sent to the St. Luke Institute for mental health evaluation, then returned ministry.
“They knew and turned him loose,” said former priest and current clergy abuse advocate Patrick Wall.
Wall was assigned to the Hastings parish after Hoefgen’s departure, but said he had no knowledge of Hoefgen’s admitted abuse or evaluation at St. Luke’s.
St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson said his firm knows of four alleged victims of Hoefgen, but asks any others to contact police.
The lawsuit seeks the reposting of 17 known offenders to the St. John’s website and a release of the 33 names from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
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Lawsuit: St. John’s priest admitted abuse, returned to ministry
November 19, 2013