Marker’s Letter to St. John’s (w/ Transcripts)

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Mr. Hemesath and Abbot Klassen,

This purpose of this letter is to make you aware of the false information that Saint John’s personnel provided to the Stearns County Sheriff Department on June 29, 2013. I share this information after reviewing video footage, audio recordings, and transcripts from multiple sources including the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department.

[Note: View this letter and its exhibits as a PDF… Here ]

In addition to other requests made herein, I hereby and respectfully request (Request #A) that by Wednesday, July 24, 2013, you provide an explanation for the unethical conduct of those in your charge, as described below.

Background

At the invitation of Saint John’s personnel, I was invited to and subsequently joined several classmates at the Saint John’s Preparatory All-School Reunion in Collegeville, Minnesota on Saturday, June 29, 2013. I arrived on campus at approximately 10:40am and was asked to leave at approximately 12:10pm.

False Information Provided to Law Enforcement

Life Safety made the following false statements to Stearns County Sheriff personnel and others on June 29, 2013:

1. Life Safety personnel provided false information when they told the Stearns County Sheriff’s department that there was an active restraining order against me, put on by St. John’s Abbey;

2. Life Safety personnel provided false information when they told the Stearns County Sheriff’s department that the school had asked me to not attend the reunion “weeks before the event”;

3. Life Safety personnel provided false information when they told the Stearns County Sheriff’s department that I was trespassing;

4. Life Safety personnel provided false information when they told the Stearns County Sheriff’s department that my refusal to leave led to the sheriff being called;

False Information #1: Life Safety personnel provided false information when they told the Stearns County Sheriff’s department that there was an active restraining order against me, put on by St. John’s Abbey;

Video footage clearly shows a Saint John’s Life Safety officer addressing me, while Stearns County Sheriff Sergeant Martin Althaus listened. Quoting the Life Safety officer:

“I’m with St. John’s Life Safety Services. Just as a reminder, there is a restraining order, ok, that is against you… It has been put on by the abbey.”

It is my understanding that other Saint John’s personnel shared this information with reunion participants in the vicinity of the lunch area.

To my knowledge, and in fact, no such restraining order has ever been in effect. In addition, I have never engaged in any conduct to support such a petition.

This false information was provided in the presence of the sheriff’s department and shared with reunion attendees in order to embarrass, humiliate and discredit me.

Life Safety Officer Tim Leavey’s video footage will undoubtedly prove this claim.

Request #B: Despite knowing that no such restraining order ever existed, I hereby and respectfully request a copy of the then active restraining order, dated and shown to be in effect on June 29, 2013, as discussed by Life Safety personnel in the presence of Stearns County Sheriff Sergeant Martin Althaus.

False Information #2: Life Safety personnel provided false information when they told the Stearns County Sheriff’s department that the school had asked me to not attend the reunion “weeks before the event”;

According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Report (ICR #13044616, attached as Exhibit A):

“It was explined [sic] that the school had made requests of him not to show up weeks before the event.”

No such request had been made and no such request exists. This false information was provided by Life Safety to the sheriff’s department and shared with reunion attendees in order to embarrass, humiliate and discredit me.

Request #C: Despite knowing that no such request exists, I hereby and respectfully request a copy of all documentation supporting Saint John’s claim that I was asked to not attend the reunion before and/or after the reunion invitation was postmarked and sent via the United States Postal Service on April 4, 2013.

False Information #3: Life Safety personnel provided false information when they told the Stearns County Sheriff’s department that I was trespassing.

At approximately 10:45am, I approached the registration table staffed by Mary Ritter and another individual. I presented my invitation (Scanned and attached as Exhibit B), provided my name, class and a registration fee of $20. My $20 was accepted and in consideration for my $20, I was provided with a Saint John’s Prep name tag (Photo attached as Exhibit C) and a lunch ticket. At that time, the parties entered into a contractual agreement. At that time, I had a contractual claim of right to be on campus.

My understanding regarding Minnesota Statute 609.605 (Attached as Exhibit D) is that someone with a claim of right cannot be trespassed.

Not only did I have a contractual claim of right to be on campus, there was absolutely no basis, no probable cause and no evidence to warrant my being trespassed.

See Request #A.

False Information #4: Life Safety personnel provided false information when they told the Stearns County Sheriff’s department that my refusal to leave led to the sheriff being called.

According to Dispatch Call #2 (Transcript attached at Exhibit F), Life Safety personnel claimed:

“Um, apparently he’s not leaving, and ah, it’s looking like we’re gonna need somebody to come and escort him off campus.”

While I enjoyed lunch with several classmates, and in the presence of approximately fifty other reunion attendees, Saint John’s Life Safety Officer Tim Leavey approached my table.

Officer Leavey claimed that I was trespassing and told me that I had to leave campus. Multiple witnesses, including Brother Paul-Vincent Niebauer, all claim or agree that my conduct on campus was respectful.

Video footage shows that when asked to leave, I indeed briefly and respectfully protested because I had received and accepted an invitation. As I began to coordinate the logistics of my departure, and not wishing to interrupt to lunches of other attendees, I informed officer Leavey that I would walk off campus.

Video footage confirms that I stayed at the event solely because, and only after, officer Leavey agreed to call the sheriff so that we could discuss the matter.

I also confirmed my permission to stay in a 911 call to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department (Dispatch Call #4, Transcript attached at Exhibit G) at 12:12pm. Had officer Leavey not agreed to contact the sheriff in order to discuss the matter, I would have left the campus.

Saint John’s personnel provided this false information to the sheriff’s department in order to discredit me.

See Request #A.

Requests

On or before Wednesday, July 24, 2013, I request the following:

A. As set forth above, I hereby and respectfully request an explanation for the unethical, if not illegal, conduct of those in your charge.

B. As set forth above, and despite knowing that no such restraining order ever existed, I hereby and respectfully request a copy of the then active restraining order, dated and shown to be in effect on June 29, 2013, as discussed by Life Safety personnel in the presence of Stearns County Sheriff Sergeant Martin Althaus.

C. As set forth above, and despite knowing that no such request exists, I hereby and respectfully request a copy of all documentation supporting Saint John’s claim that I was asked to not attend the reunion after the reunion invitation was postmarked and sent via the United States Postal Service on April 4, 2013.

D. Two days after the reunion, Saint Jon’s Prep School provided a statement to multiple media outlets (Attached as Exhibit E), claiming that a “history of hostility” led to my being trespassed. The claim of a “history of hostility” was then and remains without basis. The sole purpose of the statement was to embarrass, humiliate and discredit me. Despite knowing that no such history exists, I hereby and respectfully request a copy of all documentation supporting Saint John’s claim that a “history of hostility” exists.

E. According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Report (ICR #13044616, see Exhibit A), Sergeant Althaus “confirmed with Leavy that St. John’s Life Safety preferred [Marker] was completely off the property down to the end of the roadway.” At this point, I was already off of St. John’s property and walking on the very public County Road 159, past the bus stop and walking toward Interstate I-94. “The end of the roadway,” according to Sergeant Althaus’ dash video was later interpreted as the ramp to I-94. I hereby and respectfully request a clear statement regarding the public’s right (by car, bike, foot or otherwise) to access County Road 159 as it winds through Collegeville.

F. Following the receipt of the reunion invitation, I detrimentally relied on the Prep School’s promises then suffered damaged, and incurred multiple expenses, when Saint John’s breached its contractual obligations without cause. Therefore, I hereby and respectfully request a full refund for all reunion-related traveling and other expenses, incurred from the time I accepted the Saint John’s offer to attend the reunion until the time I returned home, including but not limited to mileage, airfare, lodging, meals, parking, and reunion lunch. I hereby and respectfully request a response regarding which of these expenses Saint John’s intends to reimburse and I will itemize accordingly.

G. I hereby and respectfully request a full refund for all traveling and other reunion-related expenses incurred by my classmates, including but not limited to mileage, airfare, lodging, meals, parking, and the reunion lunch. I hereby and respectfully request a response regarding which of these expenses Saint John’s intends to reimburse and I will alert my classmates so that they may itemize accordingly.

H. The embarrassment and humiliation suffered by the victims of sexual abuse in attendance at the reunion (at least six by my count) as well as others at the reunion was unwarranted, mean-spirited and contrary to Christian teachings. In fact, the actions by Saint John’s personnel on June 29, 2013 were radically inconsistent with the “embodiment of Benedictine values” as described on the Saint John’s University web site. I hereby and respectfully request from Saint John’s a public apology to these parties, in the form of a press release, regarding the events of June 29, 2013.

I. I hereby and respectfully request confirmation that the unenforceable Letter of Trespass Notice sent by Shawn Vierzba on July 8, 2013 (Attached as Exhibit H) has been rescinded. Should you attempt to reissue this notice, please be mindful that i) Saint John’s is not a solely private property. I do, for example, have a federal statutory right to use the Alcuin Library as a condition of its participation in the Federal Depository Library Program; and ii) Saint John’s advertises that many of its facilities and venues (including, but not limited to, the guesthouse, bookstore, church and athletic venues) are open to the public; and iii) I have done nothing to warrant being trespassed.

I look forward to your prompt and comprehensive response.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Very Sincerely,

Patrick J. Marker (SJP ’83)
P.O. Box 39
Mount Vernon, WA, 98273
patrickmarker@gmail.com
360-421-5849

[Note: View this letter and its exhibits as a PDF… Here ]
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Topics: 2013 Reunion, John Klassen, Michael Hemesath, Paul-Vincent Niebauer, Shawn Vierzba, Tim Leavey

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