St. Cloud diocese to pay $22.5M
ST. CLOUD (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Cloud in Minnesota will pay sexual abuse victims $22.5 million and file for bankruptcy, according to a settlement agreement.
Some 70 people say they were abused by 41 priests in cases that date back to the 1950s. If the bankruptcy plan is approved, the diocese will become the fifth of Minnesota’s six dioceses to settle its clergy abuse claims and declare bankruptcy.
Attorney Jeff Anderson negotiated the settlement agreement and terms were announced Tuesday. He said it gives validation to the victims, some of whom Anderson first represented in lawsuits filed in the 1980s, the Star Tribune reported.
“Every single survivor with whom we worked has felt some measure of recovery of power by having come forward to share secrets,” Anderson said. “We believe they have made the community safer because of it, and they have been a part of a massive cleanup of a massive coverup in the Diocese of St. Cloud. It has been a journey born of great tribulation.”
St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler said in a statement that he apologized on “behalf of the Church for the harm” that victims suffered. Kettler said he hoped the settlement will help heal the victims of abuse.
The Diocese of Saint Cloud includes 16 central Minnesota counties, including some of the state’s most rural areas.
Man sets apartment on fire
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Fargo police have arrested a man they say barricaded himself in his apartment and started a fire.
Authorities responded to a report of a disturbance early Wednesday and found the man yelling and threatening police and others.
Sgt. Travis Moser said the man may have mental health issues and started destroying the apartment after officers talked to him for about 90 minutes.
KFGO reported flames could be seen in the apartment and smoke filled the hallway so police forced their way in as firefighters responded to the scene.
Moser said the man barricaded himself in the bathroom and later tried to break the wall to gain access to a neighboring apartment.
Police used pepper spray, but the man refused to surrender. Police eventually forced their way into the bathroom and arrested the man.
The 27-year-old man was taken to the hospital to be checked for exposure to the pepper spray before being booked into jail on a probable charge of endangerment by fire.