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Children's Theatre Company settles seventh lawsuit over abuse

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Protestors stand in front of the Children’s Theatre Company.
Teaching artist Andrew Wheeler and other protestors stand in front of the Children’s Theatre Company on Saturday, June 22, 2019.
Marianne Combs | MPR News

Updated: 4:48 p.m. | Posted: 11:56 a.m.

The Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis has settled a lawsuit with a former student who was abused in the 1980s.

It’s the seventh lawsuit the Children's Theatre has settled with former students this year. The first six settlements were all with students from the 1970s. The seventh plaintiff's case was scheduled to go to trial in October. 

The plaintiffs' attorney said the latest settlement is a step forward, and hopes the momentum for resolution will continue for the rest of the cases. 

The survivor, however, expressed her disappointment in a statement:

"While CTC, the board, their numerous attorneys and law firms may have followed the letter of the law, it is my opinion and experience that they did not honor the spirit of the law that is in place to assist victims of trauma; nor the process of restoration.”

The statement goes on to say “The callous and calculated way they legally made their way through the process left me with more pain than I began with. If something was legal, they took full advantage – stalling or proceeding - as the law allowed, despite knowing the pain it would do to me. I think they handled the process badly.”

“I felt I had little way to turn, if any. I hope they treat the other victims better. CTC has a fundraising gala Saturday Evening. I intend to support the protesters either in spirit in person, and may come speak out in person at some time,” the statement said.

Survivors and allies say they are planning to protest the theater's annual fundraising gala this Saturday.

Eight former students still have unresolved civil suits against the Children's Theatre. They charge the Children's Theatre failed to protect them from sexual abuse by theater employees. 

In a statement, the Children's Theatre said it will continue to work towards resolutions that help all survivors.