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Priest Diagnosed with Sexuality Disorder in 1989 Continued in Ministry until 2013


Priest Diagnosed with Sexuality Disorder in 1989 Continued in Ministry until 2013

Updated: 08/12/2014 7:19 AM
Created: 08/11/2014 4:24 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Matthews

From the Link: http://kstp.com/article/stories/s3529733.shtml

Father Kenneth LaVan, sexually disordered priest and pedophile.

Father Kenneth LaVan, sexually disordered priest and pedophile.

 

A file publicly released Monday accuses the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis of ignoring the fact that a priest, Father Kenneth LaVan, was accused of inappropriate behavior multiple times. He continued in ministry until 2013.

The files released by Jeff Anderson and Associates say LaVan was first accused of inappropriate sexual behavior in the 1980s. He was sent for treatment twice and was diagnosed with compulsive sexuality disorder in 1989.

According to Anderson, LaVan’s history was reviewed in 1995, and despite the allegations and a lawsuit, the Clergy Review Board recommended LaVan continue in ministry. It wasn’t until December 2013, when Kinsale Management reviewed LaVan’s files, that he was removed from ministry. LaVan’s name was not part of the original list of credibly accused priests released by the Archdiocese last December; however, LaVan’s name was later added.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement Monday saying it made public that there were “substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor against Kenneth LaVan” in February 2014. A month later it released a statement saying LaVan was removed from ministry in 1989 to undergo treatment. He was only allowed to return to parish ministry at St. Joseph in Lino Lakes with monitoring after he finished treatment.

The Archdiocese says “under today’s standards and protocols, if we were to receive similar allegations regarding a priest, police would immediately be notified.” The church goes on to say a priest who has sexually abused a child may still receive treatment but “would not be considered again for ministry, no matter what progress he might make in treatment.”

Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens ends the statement with, “I apologize for the harm caused by some of our priests and ask for forgiveness from sexual abuse victim/survivors, their families and their friends.”

Kevin McDonough, former vicar general, questioned about handling of sex abuse cases


Kevin McDonough, former vicar general, questioned about handling of sex abuse cases

St. Paul police reopen child porn investigation aimed at priest Jon Shelley


St. Paul police reopen child porn investigation aimed at priest Jon Shelley

Priest reportedly approached young men at Barnes & Noble, asked, “Are you fucking horny?”


Priest reportedly approached young men at Barnes & Noble, asked, “Are you fucking horny?”

Archbishop John Nienstedt apologies for priest sexual abuse, sort of


Archbishop John Nienstedt apologies for priest sexual abuse, sort of

New release reveals alleged pedo-priest was moved around the state


New release reveals alleged pedo-priest was moved around the state

Francis Hoefgen: Portrait of an abusive priest


Francis Hoefgen: Portrait of an abusive priest

 

For an abusive priest, retirement income came with a premium


For an abusive priest, retirement income came with a premium

By Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio

October 9, 2013
The Rev. Robert Kapoun now lives in Cold Spring, Minn., about 18 miles southwest of St. Cloud. The lakefront property he occupies more than half the year was once owned by his parents — and is allegedly the scene of one of Kapoun's many instances of abuse against minors under his ministerial care in the 1970s and '80s. (MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson)

The Rev. Robert Kapoun now lives in Cold Spring, Minn., about 18 miles southwest of St. Cloud. The lakefront property he occupies more than half the year was once owned by his parents — and is allegedly the scene of one of Kapoun’s many instances of abuse against minors under his ministerial care in the 1970s and ’80s. (MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson)

 

They called him the Polka Padre. Later, they called him the Polka Predator.

For decades, the Rev. Robert Kapoun charmed parishioners with his accordion at “polka masses” across Minnesota. Privately, he took young boys to saunas, rectories and a secluded cabin in Cold Spring and sexually assaulted them, according to court testimony. Parents complained but leaders at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis did little to stop him.

Kapoun remained in ministry until 1996, the year a lawsuit brought by Dale Scheffler, one of his victims, went to trial. It was the biggest clergy sex abuse case in Minnesota history. Over 10 days in a packed Hennepin County courtroom, jurors watched in shock as a parade of top church leaders defended and minimized their inaction. Former Archbishop John Roach claimed memory loss, while Kapoun, then 57, claimed that God had cured him of his sexual interest in young boys.

The jury awarded a $1 million verdict. Scheffler broke down sobbing.

It was a short-lived victory. An appellate court overturned the verdict the following year due to the statute of limitations. All Scheffler got was a bill from the archdiocese for its legal expenses.

 

An MPR News investigation found that a year after the trial, the archdiocese allowed Kapoun to retire early and sent him funds beyond his pension pay that totaled about $160,000 by 2012. The money was classified as “medical retirement.” Those retirement payments — $957.50 every month — came in addition to regular pension checks of $1,510.50.

In an interview recently with MPR News, Kapoun dismissed questions about money. The priest said that he rarely sees anyone from the archdiocese and that he suffers from migraines and spinal pain. He splits his time between his half-million dollar lakefront property in Cold Spring and a second home in Florida. “I’m very happy,” said Kapoun, 74.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese declined to make anyone available to discuss Kapoun.

Kapoun is one of several accused priests who’ve received payments in addition to regular pension checks, according to two former top church officials.