Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Victim seeks justice

http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=577437
One Marquette victim is in search of justice nearly 50 years after he was molested

Read more: Local, Community, Religion, News, Legal, The Catholic Diocese of Marquette, Andrew Anderson, Father Ronald Browne, Protest, Picket, Priest, Father Donald Hartman


MARQUETTE -- Andrew Anderson says he is a victim. The Marquette resident claims he was molested by a Father Donald Hartman in Champion 50 years ago, and today he wants justice. He hopes picketing outside of Saint Peter's Cathedral in Marquette will help.

"I did chores for him, eventually he had me in the basement of the church, in his bedroom," said Anderson. “He molested me 50 plus times at least once, twice a week."

The felonious Father was ordered to leave the parish as a result of the incident. Anderson says the punishment was weak since he was able to preach again in Caspian in the eighties, before his death in 1999.

"He got a slap on the hand, that's all he got for it," Anderson said.

A Michigan statute blocks Anderson from bringing the issue back to court; molestation needs to be reported within three years of the incident for trial. The Diocese of Marquette told us Anderson is demanding $10 million in personal damages, an amount their attorney told them to refuse. But the Diocese did offer Anderson some compensation.

"The review board wanted to offer the help of any type of psychological counseling because our goal here is to try to help the person pick up the pieces," said Father Ronald Browne, Moderator of the Curia. "If he's been in counseling, we'd pay for that counseling, and if he wants to go for counseling, we'll pay for that, anything associated with counseling we will pay."

Anderson refused; he wants payback. He said time has not healed his pain, and time should not prevent him from monetary compensation.

"It was a long time ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday," he said. "It's still with me today, no matter when it happened."

Anderson said he plans to picket outside of Saint Peter's Cathedral until he gets the compensation he's looking for, but the Diocese told me that their doors are always open for further discussion with Anderson.

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