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Children's Theater Co.'s apology to abuse survivor stirs more controversy

Theater leadership's gesture did little to ease outrage over recent court proceedings.

The Children's Theater Company (CTC) has issued a formal apology over its treatment of a sex abuse survivor, but many members of the community — including the abuse survivor herself — are saying it's still not enough.

On Friday, the theater posted a video on its Facebook showing Kimberly Motes and Peter Brosius, managing director and artistic director respectively, expressing remorse over what happened in the aftermath of a recent sex abuse lawsuit involving CTC:

The two apologize for a court filing with which CTC's lawyers asked the court about recouping legal fees. They emphasized that they never intended for Laura Stearns, the woman who sued the theater, to pay those fees.

This is despite the fact that, in a now-deleted Facebook post, they said "any decision about if we would seek to recover those costs from Laura is for a later point in this ongoing process."

"We hope fervently that we never get to the point of having to make such a decision," they added.

Stearns responded to the Friday statement with a Facebook post of her own:

"Though I appreciate the gesture, I don’t know if CTC truly understands the depth of harm" they have caused her or the other people involved in the lawsuit, she says in the post.

When the theater is willing to work with survivors in the legal system, she adds, "I will gladly do what I can to partner with CTC in... community building and truth and reconciliation with the survivors."

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The posts have inspired hundreds of comments in which the theater is lambasted for its attempt at an apology. 

A major point of contention? The fact that "there is still no recognition or admittance of the fact that CTC was found (negligent) in this case."

This further fallout isn't just online. 

As the Star Tribune reports, a protest that had been planned the week before was carried out on Saturday as planned.

About 30 people picketed outside CTC on Saturday, the paper notes.

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