Vasek asks court Wednesday in TRF to deny diocese’s attempts to throw out his claims
By Times Report, Crookston Times
Also, three more priests’ names added to list, and two served at the Diocese of Crookston in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Diocese of Crookston will appear in court Wednesday in Thief River Falls on public nuisance and negligence claims made by a man who says he was abused in the early 1970s by former Msgr. Roger Grundhaus. Ron Vasek will ask the court to deny the Diocese of Crookston’s attempts to throw out his claims and, according to a media advisory by Jeff Anderson & Associates, in a related hearing immediately afterwards, Vasek, also named Doe 19, will ask the court to sanction the Diocese of Crookston for failing to produce Msgr. Grundhaus’ file in his case in 2015.
According to the advisory, Vasek disclosed the abuse to Crookston Diocese Bishop Michael J Hoeppner in 2009 or 2010 and the Diocese allegedly keep the abuse from the public including threatening his participation in the church and violating a 2015 court order in the case Doe 19 v. Diocese of Crookston, et al. Through Vasek’s lawsuit, he seeks to force the Diocese of Crookston to end their long-standing practice of concealment and protection of child abuse abusers.
St. John’s Abbey added three more names to their list of priests and monks of the Abbey who allegedly sexually abused minors and two of those added worked more than 10 years at parishes in the Diocese of Crookston during the 1940s and 1950s. Fr. Casimir Plakut and Fr. Augustine Strub, who are now deceased, both served at the St. Anne’s Missions, a group of parishes serving Native American communities in and around Naytahwaush in the Diocese of Crookston. Plakut also had assignments in the Diocese of Crookston at parishes in Mahnomen and Detroit Lakes, and Strub served as pastor of the Church of the Assumption in Callaway. After leaving St. John’s, Plakut went on to various assignments in Nebraska and Texas under an assumed name, Father Francis J. Michael, until his death in 1988.
“Getting these names out into the public and getting St. John’s to acknowledge a history never before revealed publicly is so important to protecting kids in the future, and to the validation and healing of survivors,” said attorney Jeff Anderson, who has represented hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse since the 1980s. “Many of the brave people I’ve been able to work with over the decades tell me that seeing the person who abused them identified publicly gives them comfort that they are not alone, a feeling that they are believed, and a sense of validation that helps them start to heal from the harm they began to suffer when they were still kids.”