Law firm says there may be more victims at Shattuck-St. Mary's

Shattuck St. Mary's campus
The Shumway Hall building on the campus of Shattuck-St. Mary's, a private college preparatory school in Faribault, Minn., shown here in an undated file photo.
Photo by Jackson Forderer for MPR

The law firm that's repeatedly sued religious institutions for covering up alleged child sexual abuse says it's working on behalf of possible victims of alleged sexual misconduct at the Shattuck-St. Mary's prep school in Faribault.

Gregg Meyers, an attorney with the St. Paul-based Jeff Anderson and Associates, said people who say they are victims of a drama teacher charged Monday with 17 counts of criminal sexual misconduct have started to come forward. A possible third victim may also come forward, he said.

"We are in the process of doing the analysis that will tell us, first, what happened to each of these individuals that's called us. And second, what are the options in terms of what's possible for them to proceed, if anything, is possible?" he said. "And then, third, do they want to engage us to do those options that we lay out for them?"

School officials said in a statement that they investigate and take appropriate action regarding allegations of misconduct. But Faribault's police chief police said he' troubled by the lack of disclosure from the prep school.

Police chief Don Gudmundson said the school had good reason to suspect something was amiss and should have contacted police about Seibel years ago.

"We didn't get the reports in 2003, when they found child pornography," he said. "While the legal requirement there was a little bit cloudy, I think they had a moral obligation to contact law enforcement. And I think there are a couple reasons for that. One was that he was allowed to resign. He was also able then, as we have found out, to work with young people in Rhode Island and in Los Angeles."

Gudmundson also revealed that a 2008 suicide by a teacher at the school was apparently prompted by a sexual relationship with a student. The school said it believes it has handled the matters appropriately.

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