The Diocese of Crookston has reached a $5 million settlement for the sexual abuse cases of 15 victims.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston said the suits were brought against eight parishes within the diocese from April 2016 to May 2017.
The victims were able to come forward as a result of the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which temporarily lifted the statue of limitations on sexual abuse cases.
“To all victims and survivors of sexual abuse by clergy, as the Bishop of Crookston I apologize for the harm done to you by those entrusted with your spiritual care” Hoeppner wrote in the statement
“Although you can never be fully compensated for your suffering, we are thankful this litigation has now come to a good end and are hopeful this settlement offers you justice and will be helpful for healing.”
Hoeppner said the settlements allowed the Diocese to avoid filing bankruptcy and laying off any staff.
Of the settlement, the Diocese is paying $1.55 million itself, which was raised from the sales of Camp Corbett in Becker County and Holy Spirit Newman Center in Bemidji, as well as two non-restricted estate gifts.
It also left positions within the diocese open to save money, with the rest coming from insurance proceeds.
In 2018, The Twin Cities Archdiocese pulled itself out of bankruptcy with a $210 million settlement for sexual abuse cases after filing in 2015, according to MPR.