Friday, September 4, 2015

2 sue St. Cloud diocese, parishes

Two women who say they were sexually abused by a now-deceased St. Cloud Diocese priest sued the diocese and two parishes where they say the abuse happened on Tuesday.

The women, who were not named, accuse Donald Rieder of sexually abusing them at parishes in Randall and Kimball in the 1960s when the girls where between the ages of 11 and 15. The lawsuits allege negligence and accuse the diocese of common law nuisance, a legal claim that has led to the release of dozens of priest personnel files in other religious orders.

And that's the intent of the negligence claim in the lawsuits filed Tuesday in Stearns County District Court.

"The reality is that these suits are necessary to disgorge the truth about Rieder's history and all of the other known offenders," said Jeffrey Anderson, the attorney representing the women.

The diocese had not had an opportunity to review the complaints and cannot comment on the specifics, according to a statement it released.

Rieder served at St. James Church in Randall from 1958-1964 and St. Anne's Church in Kimball from 1964-1969. Mothers of the victims told the diocese about Rieder's abuse of the girls at the time at those parishes, and the diocese merely moved Rieder to another parish, Anderson said.

Rieder pleaded guilty in 2003 to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and admitted abusing a young girl in the early 1990s while he was pastor at St. John Cantius Church.

He admitted abusing three other parishioners but wasn't charged with any crimes. Rieder died in May 2013.

2 sue St. Cloud diocese, parishes

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