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Catholic Bishop being sued for allegedly concealing sexual abuse

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CROOKSTON, Minn.—A Catholic Bishop from the Crookston Diocese is in court, as the first Bishop to be sued.

A local man is accusing Bishop Michael Hoepner of concealing information about sexual abuse within the diocese.

Ron Vasek and his attorney took part in a hearing at the Pennington County Courthouse Wednesday.

Vasek says he was sexually abused by Monsignor Roger Grundhaus in the 70's.

Further, Vasek says he was threatened and intimidated by Bishop Hoepner to keep quiet about the sexual abuse.

He says Hoepner threatened he'd prevent Vasek from possibly becoming a deacon.

Vasek is asking the court to deny the diocese request to throw out public nuisance and negligence claims against it.

The church says it shouldn't face the charges, because of the statute of limitations.

Ron Vasek said, "I was coerced and I was threatened. How many other people have been coerced and threatened? My question to the diocese and to the officials in the diocese is why don't you come clean with everything? Why is there so much secrecy in this? The truth would reveal everything to the public and let people know exactly what is going on. But so far they are hiding behind statutes and rules and regulations instead of what they were ordained to do."

The judge has yet to make a ruling.

Vasek and Anderson want the Diocese to reveal all secrets of sexual abuse that have been concealed by the bishop.

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