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.
“We are honored and immensely humbled that the leading intellect in child protection advocacy has chosen to work with us,” said Leander James. “For years, Professor Hamilton has been the go-to intellect for legislators drafting child-protection legislation and appellate courts addressing Constitutional aspects of child sexual abuse cases,” added Craig Vernon.
According to Professor Hamilton, “It has become clear to me that the best route to child protection is through the legal system. The best advocacy comes with a dedicated team. It is a fact that the entities that hide abusers simply will not stop until they are held accountable in a court of law. The window of time created by the Child Victims Act in Minnesota, which will close in May 2016, is an example of what is needed for the public to learn where hidden predators are.
Professor Hamilton says that she has been increasingly concerned that female survivors have not come forward here in Minnesota and elsewhere, even though girls are abused at a higher rate than boys. “I applaud Jane Doe 115 for her courage in coming forward today and I hope that women across the country will find their voices so that the public will learn who the hidden predators.”
In the civil Complaint filed in Hennepin County, the woman described as Jane Doe 115 brings claims of negligence against Zion Lutheran Church for exposing her to the sexually abusive Huchthausen, when she was a minor and for failing to properly supervise Huchthausen.
According to the Zion Lutheran Church website, Rev, John Huchthausen arrived at the Church in 1974 after serving as a missionary in the Philippines. It is unknown whether he molested children while in the Philippines. Huchthausen was installed as a pastor in 1976 and appears to have remained at the Church until 1979.
“This young 12-year-old girl was subjected to repeated, severe sexual abuse at the hands of her youth minister, in and around the Church and during youth activities,” reported attorney Patrick Noaker. “The sexual abuse continued for two and a half years, until the girl was 14.”