Onamia: Crosiers agree to sexual assault settlement

A religious order with a priory in Mille Lacs County has agreed to pay $25.5 million to sexual abuse victims and has filed bankruptcy.

The Crosier Fathers & Brothers, the Roman Catholic religious order of priests and brothers with a community in Onamia, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Minnesota District of U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The Crosiers also have a community in Phoenix, Arizona.

The action was announced Thursday, June 1 by Jeff Anderson & Associates, a St. Paul-based law firm that represents victims of sexual abuse by priests. The Crosier order is the 18th Catholic Diocese or Religious order to file for bankruptcy protection in the United States, according to a June 1 statement released by Jeff Anderson & Associates.

Sexual abuse survivors and the Crosiers have worked together to reach a framework for a $25.5 million dollar agreement to fairly compensate survivors of child sexual abuse by members and an employee of the Crosier order. Currently, there are 43 child sexual abuse cases pending in Minnesota courts, according to the law firm.

“We applaud the strength and courage of all of the sexual abuse survivors who have come forward and shared their truths,” said Attorney Mike Finnegan. “The Crosiers are doing the right thing by working with survivors in order to facilitate a transparent and fair resolution for everyone involved.”

According to Jeff Anderson & Associates, the Crosiers have agreed to a process as part of the settlement framework by which they will release the files of Crosiers credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. In March 2014, the Crosiers voluntarily released an updated list of 19 priests and brothers with credible child sexual abuse allegations.

The first list containing a total of eight names was previously disclosed in 2002. These priests and brothers worked in various locations throughout the country, including Minnesota, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan and New York, the law firm stated.