Address: 333 Washington Avenue N. #300 Minneapolis 55401
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2 Victims Sexually Abused by Minnesota Casting Director Awarded $2.1 Million
July 28, 2016
Jury Awards $2.1 Million to Abuse Victims
(July 28, 2016 – Minneapols, Minnesota) A Hennepin County jury awarded two victims of sexual abuse by local Casting Director Matthew Feeney, $2,073,078.04 for past and future emotional distress and health care costs. The verdict came at the end of a three-day jury trial held in Hennepin County District Court in front of Hon. Thomas Sipkins. Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker and St. Cloud attorney Michael Bryant represented the plaintiffs during the trial.
During closing arguments in the case, attorney Noaker acknowledged that sometimes child sexual abusers are often difficult to identify because they possess personality traits, like being funny, silly and warm, that appeal to children without raising suspicion of their parents. That is how Matthew Feeney was able to gain access to these boys.
During the trial, the two boys testified that they were aspiring child actors who met Matthew Feeney when auditioned for parts in movies and commercials that were being produced in Minnesota. After that, Feeney endeared himself to the boys’ parents and other siblings, soon attending family birthday parties and school plays. The boys testified that Feeney’s invasion of their family prevented the boys from being able to tell anyone about the sexual abuse.
Once the boys told their mother about the abuse, attorney Bryant confirmed “this mother did exactly what she was supposed to do, she called the police and got help for the boys.” Matthew Feeney was criminally convicted of sexually abusing both boys in 2014, and he is now serving a prison sentence for his crimes. “Only half of the job has been done,” Noaker argued, “Matthew Feeney is in prison where he cannot hurt any more children, but we still have two very injured boys here. We need to complete the circle and return a verdict that will insure that these boys get the help that they need and deserve in the future.”
After three and a half hours of deliberations, the jury returned a Special Verdict awarding twenty one year-old John Doe 101 the amount of $974,281.05 and sixteen year-old John Doe 102 the amount of $1,098,796.99.
Click Below for Special Verdict Forms
Is the Archdiocese Concealing Jewels and Valuable Art From the Bankruptcy Court?
By Patrick Noaker
In a letter to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota, a former employee of Bockstruck Jewelers in St. Paul reports that in 1996, the Archdiocese had valuable jewelry and 19th century art appraised by the Jeweler. Click below to view the letter.
New lawsuit against LDS Church over sex abuse
Diocese faces last child abuse lawsuit
by CHRIS ROGERS, (6/6/2016)
Just before the three-year window for old child abuse allegations to be made under the Minnesota Child Victim Acts ended on May 25, a new lawsuit by an alleged victim of the former priest Thomas Adamson was filed against the diocese.
In 2013, the Minnesota Child Victims Act lifted the statute of limitations for civil child sexual abuse-related lawsuits for a period of three years. Victims who had been silent about past abuse came forward with a slew of lawsuits against the Diocese of Winona, the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and other Minnesota dioceses. Some victims spoke publicly about their experience.
Twin Cities attorney Patrick Noaker filed the last such lawsuit against the Diocese of Winona on May 23. The alleged victim claims that between 1969 and 1972, when he was in grade school and an altar boy at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Father Thomas Adamson sexually abused him on numerous occasions. Read More.
A New Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Reveals More Sexual Abuse of Navajo Children in the Mormon Indian Placement Program, Meanwhile, Church Attempts to Move Cases to Utah
(Window Rock, Navajo Nation, June 6, 2016) LK, a Utah man who is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, filed suit against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the “Mormon” or “LDS” Church, and against LDS Family Services in the Navajo Nation District Court in Window Rock. He was sexually and physically abused during the Church’s “Indian (Lamanite) Placement Program” in the late 1970s. Since March, this is at least the fourth abuse lawsuit involving that program brought against the Mormon Church by members of the Navajo Nation.
“Mormon scripture teaches that Native Americans are cursed by God with a ‘skin of blackness’ and this ‘curse’ is at the root of the Indian Placement Program,” explains attorney Craig Vernon, a former LDS church member, and an attorney who has represented dozens? Hundreds of children victimized in institutions. “While this program may have been well-intentioned, the racism inherent in the ‘curse doctrine’ cannot be ignored and its damage to victims’ self-esteem and to the Navajo culture.,” he added.
Click Below to view Complaint filed in LK v. The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Navajo District Court File No. WR-CV-75-16, Window Rock District
A Salute to the 72 Men and Women Who Filed Cases Under the Child Victims Act
(Minneapolis, May 26, 2016) These courageous men and women have come forward and taken legal action in order identify their perpetrators and to rebuild that part of his or her life that was shattered by sexual abuse as a kid. This journey will be lengthy and, at times, difficult, but it will also provide a blueprint for healing that cannot be accomplished in any other way. Each of you has probably heard me say this, “You have been running away from this part of your life for years, now you are turning around and running at it.” It will challenging, but it will be worth it. The journey to heal yourselves and those around you who were also injured by the abuse has begun. We salute you.
Patrick Noaker/Sandy Kluessendorf/William Haider
Noaker Law Firm
New Prague parish faces priest abuse lawsuit
Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker filed a civil complaint on behalf of the victim on Monday in Le Sueur County District Court. It alleges the victim was sexually abused when he was 12 by the Rev. Louis Heitzer in 1965 at St. Scholastica Parish in Heidelberg. Read More.
Former Roseville swimmer alleges sexual abuse by swim coach
The alleged molester, the lawsuit says, became an assistant coach for a Roseville swim club after being removed as an assistant scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts in 1972.
By Beatrice Dupuy Star Tribune, May 11, 2016 — 5:28PM
A former Roseville swimmer has filed a lawsuit against the Amateur Athletic Union for sexual abuse he experienced in the 1970s as a 12-year-old boy at the hands of his assistant coach.
The coach, the lawsuit said, had previously been an assistant scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts in St. Paul until he was fired over allegations that he abused another boy.
Jon Landstrom and his attorney, Patrick Noaker, announced the suit at a news conference Wednesday. The lawsuit filed in Ramsey County names the AAU, the assistant coach, David J. Beardsley, and Landstrom’s former head coach, David Luedtke, as defendants. Noaker said to his knowledge this is the first case under the Minnesota Child Victims Act against the AAU. In the suit, Landstrom is seeking judgment in excess of $50,000.
St. Paul Man Files Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against AAU
Perpetrator had been previously kicked-out of the Boy Scouts for Sexual Abuse
WHO: Plaintiff, Jon Landstrom and his attorney Patrick Noaker
WHERE: Noaker Law Firm LLC, Union Plaza Building, 333 Washington Avenue N, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401
WHEN: May 11, 2016 at 11:00 am
(Minneapolis, Minnesota—May 11, 2016)— At a press conference, Plaintiff, Jon Landstrom and his attorney Patrick Noaker will announce that they have filed a civil lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court against the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), the head coach of his Roseville-based AAU Swimming team, David Luedtke and Assistant Coach David J. Beardsley, for sexual abuse committed by David J. Beardsley.
From information that is publicly available, David J. Beardsley was involved with the Boy Scouts before becoming involved as a youth coach with the Roseville AAU swimming team. According to a Boy Scouts of America Ineligible Volunteer Perversion file found on the Los Angeles Times website and the Noaker Law Firm website, in 1972, David J. Beardsley was terminated as an Assistant Scoutmaster with St. Paul BSA Troop 66 when a parent reported Beardsley being sexually inappropriate with his son at the Tomahawk Scout Camp. This information was kept in the Boy Scouts’ secret Perversion Files. There is no evidence that the Boy Scouts of America or the local Indianhead Council notified law enforcement authorities at the time they received the abuse report. Consequently, it appears that David J. Beardsley was then able to gain access to children through the AAU swimming program, where he then sexually abused 12-year-old Jon Landstrom.
Rochester Man Files Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Former Leader
By Megan Stewart, KAAL-TV Rochester April 19, 2016
Rochester Man Comes Forward About Sexual Abuse by Boy Scout Leader
Files Lawsuit before May 25, 2016 Deadline
(St. Paul, Minnesota—April 19, 2016)— Today, a Rochester man filed a civil lawsuit in Olmsted County District Court against the Boy Scouts of America and the Rochester-based Gamehaven Council for sexual abuse committed by his Boy Scout Leader Jack D. Tibbetts.
According to court documents, John Doe 160, now age 66, was twelve years old when he says he was first sexually abused by his Scout leader—Jack Tibbetts. The abuse occurred during 1962-1964 on Scouting activities in Rochester and other locations in Minnesota. John Doe 160 is not named in court papers, a practice Minnesota courts allow to permit child sexual abuse survivors to protect their privacy.
Lawsuit Shines “Spotlight” on Sexual Abuse of Navajo Children within the Lamanite Placement Program
(March 23, 2016 – Gallup, New Mexico). Two enrolled members of the Navajo Nation filed suit against LDS Family Services and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the “Mormon” or “LDS” Church, stemming from child sexual abuse that occurred during the Church’s “Lamanite Placement Program” in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
Click Here for File-stamped Copy of Complaint For Personal Injury filed in Navajo Nation District Court, Window Rock District, Case No. WR-CV-36-16. . . .
The specific quote from the Book of Mormon (that the Mormon Church teaches was translated by its founder, Joseph Smith) reads: And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. (2 Nephi 5:21, Book of Mormon).
Businessman faces lawsuits related to sexual abuse
(Willmar, MN) — Willmar businessman Peter Clare Hoagland pleaded guilty in October to eight counts of criminal sexual conduct in Kandiyohi County District Court, but his use of an Alford plea means he never was asked to admit to specific allegations.
Two of the alleged victims in the case are now pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against Hoagland and his Willmar business, Pete’s Communications Inc. They’re each seeking $50,000 in damages.
While the two plaintiffs are not necessarily dissatisfied with the 18-1/2 – year prison sentence handed down in December against Hoagland, they believe there is more justice to be done.
“(Hoagland) waffled when it came to these two guys,” said Patrick Noaker, the attorney for the two plaintiffs. “He didn’t completely admit to abusing them.”
Using John or Jane Doe in Civil Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
It is common for sexual abuse survivors to protect their identity when pursuing civil claims for childhood sexual abuse. Here is an affidavit by David Clohessy, Executive Director for the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), one of the largest and most effective support organizations for childhood sexual abuse victims. This affidavit is an excellent description of reasons why it is proper to allow a childhood sexual abuse survivor to be able to use a pseudonym such as John Doe or Jane Doe. In addition, here is a link to the legal memorandum I filed in the John Doe 123 and John Doe 124 v. Peter Hoagland, et al, Kandiyohi County District Court Case No. 34-CV-15-762 and an article Using Pseudonyms in Sexual Abuse Cases, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, February 2012.
Press Conference: Lawsuit and Abuse in San Diego Modeling Industry
WHAT: Press Conference. Janine Kyser, formerly of San Diego, and her attorneys will discuss a civil sexual abuse lawsuit filed with the Superior Court of the State of California onWednesday, February 24, 2016. Janine will talk about the risk of sexual harm to children in the modeling industry and use her story of abuse as an example of the lack of protection for children in the industry.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. Pacific
WHERE: Law offices of Elliott Kanter, 2445 5th Ave #350, San Diego, CA
WHO: Plaintiff Janine Kyser is represented by Hamilton James, an attorney team formed by nationally-known child advocates Leander “Lee” James, Craig Vernon, Patrick Noaker and Constitutional lawyer and Professor Marci Hamilton along with their Southern California team member Elliott Kanter.
MORE DETAIL: Child model exposes Barbizon School of modeling in San Diego as negligent when it sent the young girl to multiple photo shoots where she was sexually abused by the photographers who are now wanted on outstanding warrants by the San Diego County Sheriff. Read More
Man suing Holdeman Mennonite Church over sex abuse claims
Mennonites Put Children in Danger By Refusing to Report Sexual Abuse
(February 11, 2016 – Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) Today, a national group of sexual abuse attorneys filed a lawsuit against the Kansas-based Church of God in Christ (“Holdeman Mennonites”) for endangering Mennonite children by discouraging local churches and leaders from reporting child sexual abuse to law enforcement.
Clayton Peaster, formerly of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, filed a civil sexual abuse lawsuit (Complaint (filed)) with the Kootenai County District Court in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho against Mt. View Mennonite Church, Inc, and its parent organization, Kansas-based Church of God in Christ (Mennonite), commonly known as the Holdeman Mennonites, as well as is adoptive father David Peaster and mother Cynthia Peaster relating to child sexual abuse by David Peaster. The sexual abuse occurred from 2000 – 2004. According to the suit, during that period, Mt. View Mennonite Church leaders were informed about the sexual abuse by David Peaster and did not report the sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities. Instead, church leaders excommunicated the father for two weeks, requiring him to promise to stop the sexual abuse before readmitting him into the Church. Nothing was done to protect the boy, and the step-father continued to sexually abuse the boy for over a year thereafter. Read More.
CLICK BELOW FOR:
Photograph of Mt. View Mennonite Church [Size: 1.8 M ]
Photograph of the Mt. View Mennonite School [Size: 1.7 M ]
Photograph of the Peaster Home [Size: 3 M ]
All photographs are original and taken by James, Vernon & Weeks, P.A. James, Vernon & Weeks grants permission to any media outlet or social media to reprint or otherwise use these photographs.
Beyond clergy: Ex-Boy Scouts tap Minn. law to press sex abuse claims
Jim McDonough was a kid from St. Paul’s east side who, like a lot of city kids, longed for an outdoor adventure. In 1967, at age 12, he got his chance. He joined the Boy Scouts, happily donned its khaki-colored uniform, and headed into the fall weather on his first camping trip.
Suit Claims Scout Leader Raped Boy in Back Room of Williams Arena
KSTP- TV Ch. 5, January 13, 2016
Boy Scouts Leader Accused of Sexual Abuse at Williams Arena in 1980’s
KMSP Fox 9, January 13, 2016
- Lawsuit: Boy Scouts leader abused child at Gophers games in ’80s, MPRNews, January 13, 2016
- Lawsuit says Boy Scout leader raped teen at Williams Arena in 1980s, Pioneer Press, January 13, 2016
New Lawsuit: Boy Scout Leader Raped Boy In Backroom of U of M’s Williams Arena
(Minneapolis, Minnesota-January 13, 2016)– The Boy Scouts’ “usher program” at Williams Arena seemed like every boy’s dream: an opportunity for community service that came with a front-row view of Gopher basketball and hockey games. But, in a new lawsuit filed today in Ramsay County, one local man says what should have been a dream was actually a living nightmare – with a Scout Leader repeatedly raping him in a locked room in back of the arena.
Today’s lawsuit names the Boy Scouts of America and its local chapter (the Northern Star Council) as defendants in an action based on the child sexual abuse suffered by a Minneapolis man referred to in court papers as “John Doe 159.” (The University of Minnesota is not named as a party to the lawsuit.) Read More.
Click Here for Complaint filed on 1/13/16
Civil Suit Filed Against Diocese of Winona – Bishop Knew Priest Was Dangerous
Bishop More Interested in Bank Loan Than Protecting Children from Child Predator
(Winona, Minnesota – January 05, 2016.) Today, the Hamilton James law group filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of a former Winona man against the Diocese of Winona relating to sexual abuse by Fr. Richard Hatch in 1962 when the boy was 13 – 14 years of age and a parishioner and student at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and School. Documents released by Hamilton James reveal that the Winona Bishop was more concerned about Fr. Hatch’s loan with the First National Bank of Pipestone than Hatch taking children with him to Florida. Read More
Woman’s suit against Lutheran youth pastor is first in an effort to get more to step forward.
A national team of lawyers has joined forces to focus on a group of children who are underrepresented in clergy abuse cases — namely, girls.
The group announced its first legal action Monday, a suit by a Minnesota woman who charges that she was sexually abused for several years in the 1970s by a former youth minister at Zion Lutheran Church in Hopkins.
Although 1 in 4 girls reports being a victim of child sex abuse in national studies, just a small fraction of them take advantage of laws that permit victims to seek legal remedy in decades-old cases, Patrick Noaker, a Minneapolis attorney who is part of the team, said at a news conference.
The relatively small number of women stepping forward is true not just for clergy sex abuse, said fellow team member Marci Hamilton. In general, girls are reluctant to report abuse by coaches, teachers, family members and family friends, Hamilton said. Yet all can be sued through the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which allows older abuse cases to have their day in court. Read More.
Press Conference: Local Woman Files Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Lutheran Church
New National Team Seeks Justice for the Female Survivor
What: Press Conference: a newly-formed national attorney team will discuss a civil lawsuit filed by a local woman against the Zion Lutheran Church in Hopkins, Minnesota. The woman alleges sexual abuse by Youth Minister John Huchthausen beginning in 1974 when the girl was 12 years of age and a parishioner at the Church.
When: Monday, December 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm
Where: Noaker Law Firm, 333 Washington Avenue N., Third Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Who: Jane Doe 115 is represented by Hamilton James, a newly formed national attorney team. Internationally renowned Constitutional lawyer and outspoken child protection adocate Professor Marci Hamilton, has joined three of the nation’s leading lawyers representing women and men in child sexual abuse cases — Leander James, Craig Vernon and Minneapolis-based Patrick Noaker.
12-08-2015 – Complaint filed on Monday, December 14, 2015 in Hennepin County District Court
Noaker Law Firm in the News:
Former St. Paul Boy Scout alleges sexual abuse in 1970s
By Barry Lytton, 12/9/15
A former St. Paul Boy Scout filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that he was abused by his Scout leader in the 1970s.
The lawsuit accuses the Boy Scouts of America and its local chapter, the Northern Star Council, of three counts of negligence and one count of fraud. It states that the plaintiff, identified as John Doe 156, was abused by then-scout leader Richard E. Carroll on camping trips and Boy Scout events from 1972 to 1974. Carroll died in 2004 at age 66.
Carroll, who received numerous honors during his 52 years in scouting, allegedly abused Doe 156 several times and in several locations in St. Paul and around the state.
Doe 156 was in his early teens when the abuse began in 1972, the suit alleges. At that time Doe 156’s parents had just divorced and his newly single mother was busy trying to keep the broken family afloat, said Patrick Noaker, Doe 156’s attorney.
“Dad left. Mom was struggling, and the Boy Scouts was a place he could go,” Noaker said. “The Boy Scouts let him down.” Read More.
Highly Decorated Local Scoutmaster At Center of Sex Abuse Lawsuit
The victim in today’s lawsuit filed in Ramsay County is proceeding under the pseudonym John Doe 156. The lawsuit alleges the Richard “Dick” Carroll was a Scout Leader for a boy scout troop that met at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church located on the corner of Dewey and Marshall in the Merriam Park neighborhood of St. Paul. According to the lawsuit, Richard Carroll used his position of trust as a Scout Leader to sexually abuse one of the young scouts in his troop on multiple occasions when the boy was between 11 to 13 years old. The abuse occurred during Scout camping trips to Webster, Minnesota and Cannon Falls, Minnesota in approximately 1972 and 1973. Read More.
Duluth diocese files for bankruptcy after $8M abuse award
STEVE KUCHERA, AP/DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE Diocese of Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba
The Catholic Diocese of Duluth filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, a month after a victim of priest sex abuse there was awarded $8 million in damages. The diocese was found responsible for $4.8 million.
The northern Minnesota diocese is the 15th diocese in the nation to file for bankruptcy protection after clergy abuse litigation. It follows the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which declared bankruptcy last January. Read More.
Diocese of Duluth Accused Priests:
- Fr. Kirby Blanchard
- Fr. Louis Brouillard
- Fr. Victor Chateauvert
- Fr. Leonard Colston
- Fr. Raymond Cossette
- Fr. Frederick Fox
- Fr. John Golobich
- Fr. Ralph Goniea
- Fr. Robert Klein
- Fr. Mark Makowski
- Fr. Gregory Manning
- Fr. John Nicholson
- Fr. Dennis Puhl
- Fr. Thomas Stack
- Fr. Joseph Thibaudeau
- Fr. Stephen Toporowitz
- Fr. Angelo Zankl
- Fr. Cornelius Kelleher
- Fr. Vincent Fitzgerald
- Fr. Ohmar Hohman
- Fr. Richard Jeub
- Fr. Brennen Maiers
Former Columbia HeightsBoy Scouts Speak Out About Filing Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
KSTP – November 29, 2015
Second Victim Comes Forward After BSA Leader Denies Sexual Abuse Charges
A second Minneapolis-area man filed a sexual abuse lawsuit alleging that local Boy Scout Leader, Wallace “Wally” Schrade sexually abused him when he was a Boy Scout. The controversy is that Schrade, who served as the Assistant Scoutmaster for Columbia Heights Troop 162 during the 1970s and early 1980s, boldly and publicly denied the allegations of another man identified as John Doe 157. . . [In] an article appearing on the Pioneer Press website by reporter Elizabeth Mohr, Schrade denied abusing John Doe 157.
Then today, on the heels of Schrade’s public denial, a second member of Schrade’s Boy Scout Troop came forward and publicly accused Schrade of child sexual abuse. Read More
Former Columbia Heights Boy Scout alleges 1970s sex abuse in lawsuit
A former Boy Scout has filed a lawsuit claiming he was abused in the 1970s by a Scout leader for his Columbia Heights troop. John Doe 157’s lawsuit, filed Monday in Ramsey County District Court, accuses the Boy Scouts of America and its local chapter, the Northern Star Council, of negligence for failing to adequately supervise the troop leader. According to the lawsuit, John Doe 157, now 53, was abused by troop leader Wallace Schrade between 1974 and 1979, when he was 11 to 16 years old. . . Schrade, reached by phone Monday, said it was the first he’d heard of the claims and the first time anyone had ever accused him. “I just don’t think it’s true,” Schrade said. “I don’t know where it comes from.” Schrade confirmed that he was a leader for a Columbia Heights Boy Scout troop and said he held many positions over the years he was involved with the Scouts. He declined to comment further. . .
Attorney Patrick Noaker said in a statement Monday: “It was no coincidence that Schrade targeted John Doe 157. The boy’s father was very ill, and Schrade took advantage of that vulnerability. We believe the evidence will show that Schrade used the Scouting program to gain the trust of Doe 157’s mother, to spend time alone with the boy, and eventually to sexually abuse him.” Noaker said the boy’s father died after the abuse began and the “abuse escalated from there.” Read More
New Suit Identifies Columbia Heights Scout Leader as Sexual Abuser
Scout Leader Wallace Schrade Sexually Abused Boy Scout When Boy’s Father Was Too Sick to Protect the Boy
(Minneapolis, Minnesota—November 23, 2015)
The victim in today’s suit – referred to as “John Doe 157” – was approximately twelve years old when he says he was first sexually abused by Scout Leader Wallace “Wally” Schrade. According to court documents, Schrade met the victim while serving as the Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 162, which met at the Community Methodist Church near Central Ave NE in Columbia Heights.
“It was no coincidence that Schrade targeted John Doe 157. The boy’s father was very ill, and Schrade took advantage of that vulnerability. We believe the evidence will show that Schrade used the Scouting program to gain the trust of Doe 157’s mother, to spend time alone with the boy, and eventually to sexually abuse him,” said Patrick Noaker, one of John Doe 157’s attorneys. “Shortly after the abuse started, the boy’s father passed away. And the sexual abuse escalated from there.” Read More.
Cameras Flick on in Minnesota’s Criminal Courtrooms
By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield-WCCO Channel 4 – November 10, 2015
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — For the first time in Minnesota, a pilot project allowed WCCO-TV to take you inside a criminal courtroom.
The project that began Tuesday is limited to hearings that take place after a defendant is convicted in certain types of cases. Cameras aren’t allowed when a jury is present, and they’re excluded from juvenile proceedings or those involving domestic violence or sex crimes.
Formerly, all parties to a case had to consent before recordings were allowed, leading to few cases where cameras were permitted. On Tuesday morning, WCCO-TV was allowed in as part of a brand new pilot program spurred by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Read More.
Should the Government be Able to Freeze Assets Before Trial?
The U.S. Supreme Court Case: Luis v. United States
By Patrick Noaker, November 11, 2015
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case where the Court will decide whether the freezing of a criminal defendant’s legitimate, untainted assets (those not traceable to a criminal offense), that are needed to retain counsel, violates the U.S. Constitution. In Luis v. United States, Sila Luis ran a home health care and a physical therapy business in Florida. By all accounts, Luis’ companies were very successful. In 2012, the government charged Luis with Medicare fraud, claiming that she had paid for referrals and that she had overbilled for services in the amount of $45M. Prior to any trial on the criminal charges, the government froze all of Luis’ assets, even those assets that were completely unrelated to the Medicare payments made to Luis’ companies. As a result, Luis could not retain an attorney to represent her to defend the criminal charges. Read More.
New Boy Scout Lawsuit Filed
Victim Told the Boy Scouts About Abusive Leader – But Where’s the Secret File?
(St. Paul, Minnesota—November 05, 2015)—Yet another Minneapolis-area man filed a civil lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America and the St. Paul-based Northern Star Council for alleged sexual abuse committed by his Scout leader.
Steven Parker was only eleven years old when he says he was first sexually abused by his Scout leader, Andrew Momont. According to court documents, the boy met Momont when he joined Troop 17, which was based out of the Olivet Baptist Church in Robbinsdale. Andrew Momont was the troop’s Assistant Scoutmaster. Andrew Momont’s father, Phillip Momont, was the Troop 17 Scoutmaster. Read More.
When Is It Constitutional to Purge Black Jurors in a Criminal Case?
By Patrick Noaker, October 29, 2015
As the U.S. Supreme Court considers Foster v. Chatman, the standards that govern racially motivated exclusion of jurors in a criminal case are front and center.
“I don’t think it was unfair, it was unfair” James K. Batson, after a criminal prosecutor struck all of the African Americans from his jury, leaving an all-white jury. The United States Supreme Court agreed. See Batson v. Kentucky.
In the Georgia case, Foster v. Chatman, now before the U.S. Supreme Court and set for argument on November 2, 2015, the Court will have an opportunity to confirm and possibly clarify its 1986 Batson decision. In Foster, the prosecutor in a death penalty case against Tyrone Foster, who is African American, removed all of the African American members of the jury panel. When Foster’s attorney cried foul and cited to Batson, the prosecutor proffered inaccurate, but racially-neutral explanations for their removal.
Nearly two decades after the trial, Foster’s lawyers obtained the prosecution’s notes for jury selection. The state’s lawyers had marked each black juror’s name with a “B,” and a state investigator had specifically ranked each “B” juror in order of preference if “it comes down to having to pick one of the black jurors.”
Scout Leader Allegedly Made St. Paul Boy Sniff Glue Before Abuse
The sexual abuse lawsuits keep piling up against Boy Scouts of America and its local Northern Star Council wing. On Friday, the sixth Minnesota claim in the past four months was filed in Ramsey County court.
Between 1968 and 1969, a St. Paul boy was allegedly sexually assaulted multiple times by a scout leader identified only as Mr. Hamper. According to the complaint, the abuse occurred when the boy was 12 and 13 years old at various scouting events in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Now 59, the unnamed victim has come forward with his claims in hopes of preventing similar abuse, says his lawyer Patrick Noaker, who believes Hamper assaulted three or four other boys. Hamper’s signature move was allegedly getting his victims high by sniffing glue or paint before assaulting them. Read More.