New lawsuits filed over alleged abuse by former Minnesota priest

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New lawsuits against a Minnesota diocese allege Catholic church officials failed to protect children from sexual abuse by a priest during the 1960's.

Forum News Service reports two women who told their story publicly Monday are among half a dozen their attorney says are suing the Diocese of New Ulm. Their alleged abuser, the Rev. David Roney, was a priest at churches in Willmar and Benson. Forum News reports Roney died ten years ago and the diocese did not immediately respond to the lawsuits.

The women are represented by Jeffrey Anderson, a St. Paul attorney who has filed clergy abuse lawsuits around the world. Forum reports Anderson claims to have documented 20 cases of abuse involving Roney, some of which he says were reported to the diocese.

Anderson maintains the Catholic church has a list of priests accused of abuse and he's seeking a court order to make the documentation public.

Until this year, Minnesota required that lawsuits seeking damages for child sex abuse be filed before the accuser turned 24. But this spring the Legislature removed that statute of limitations.

A number of new lawsuits followed that change, including one against the Diocese of Winona last month from a man who is also represented by Anderson.

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