Another lawsuit against archdiocese alleges abuse by priest in Hastings

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Another lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis alleges sexual abuse by a priest in Hastings more than 20 years ago.

The Star Tribune reports attorney Jeff Anderson filed suit Tuesday that claims Rev. Francis Hoefgen had admitted to police he sexually abused a 17-year-old boy while assigned to St. Boniface in Cold Spring in 1983.

After serving a 6-month stint at the St. Luke Institute, a facility in Silver Spring, Md. which provides treatment for Catholic priests who have been accused of molesting children, Hoefgen was assigned to what is now St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings in 1984.

In 1989, Hoefgren began abusing a 10-year-old boy, the lawsuit says. The abuse continued for the next three years, according to the victim identified as "Doe 27."

The lawsuit claims the archdiocese, along with St. Luke's and a number of other parties with knowledge of the abuse, concealed Hoefgren's past sexual misconduct and failed to warn parents.

It's not clear if the abuse in Hastings was ever reported to the police.

Since the Child Victims Act, which lifted the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases in civil court, went into effect in Minnesota in May, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been sued 21 times, the newspaper said.

The Pioneer Press reports Hoefgen, now 63, remained in ministry until 1992 and currently lives in Columbia Heights.

The priest is a member of St. John's Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Collegeville.

Also filed Tuesday were criminal charges against a Maplewood priest, Rev. Mark Huberty, who's accused of engaging in sexual activity with a woman while she was under his spiritual care, according to a Minnesota Public Radio report.

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