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Children's Theatre Co. and former director are sued for sexual abuse

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The Children's Theatre Company of Minnesota and its former artistic director John Clark Donahue are being sued by two plaintiffs who claim they were sexually abused in the 1970s and 1980s when they were students with the theater.

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson announced the lawsuit in a news release Monday. He said more details will be discussed at a Tuesday afternoon news conference, and one of the plaintiffs will speak publicly for the first time about her experience.

The suit also names another former employee of the CTC as a defendant, although that person was not identified in the news release.

According to Anderson, one of the plaintiffs was abused in 1977 and another in 1983.

Donahue, who was one of the founders of the Children's Theatre Company in the 1960s, was at the center of a sex abuse scandal there in the mid-'80s.

He was charged in April 1984 with sexually abusing three male students ages 12-14.

It was a very public scandal at the time, FOX 9 reported earlier this summer, with rumors that there were other victims and accusations that CTC board members had tried to keep the investigation out of the public eye.

Donahue eventually pleaded guilty and served a 10-month jail sentence, the Star Tribune reports.

In the news release, Anderson claims "numerous children were sexually abused" at the CTC in the 1970s and '80s, "and only a small part of the story became public."

Officials at the CTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Anderson is well known for his representation of sexual abuse survivors who have sued the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.

The lawsuit was filed under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which opened a temporary window for sexual abuse survivors to file claims for incidents that happened decades ago. The deadline for taking action under that law is May 25, 2016.

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