Summary of Methodology
Used in Audit of Sexual Misconduct Allegations
(Faegre & Benson, LLP, is the law firm that conducted the investigation of sexual misconduct allegations. The following are excerpts regarding the methodology used in that investigation from its report to the Crosier Province.)
In June 2002 the Crosier Province hired Faegre & Benson, LLP, to conduct an audit of past and present sexual misconduct allegations involving Crosier members. This audit is being performed to provide you with an understanding of the allegations made against individual Crosiers and the Crosier Province.
Our assignment was to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, examining documents and files and interviewing individuals with knowledge of these allegations. We understand that the Crosiers will use the information contained in our audit report and the legal advice we provide along with religious considerations in order to make determinations on further action regarding sexual misconduct allegations involving Crosier members.
The methodology we used in handling this assignment has led to a thorough investigation, as documented by our final report. Mindful of the sensitive nature of these allegations and the individuals that are affected by our investigation, we have approached our investigation in a serious and detailed manner, conducting follow-up examinations whenever and wherever it seemed necessary. The methodology we followed is outlined below.
Examination of Crosier Records/Files
We began our investigation by reviewing all Crosier files related to allegations of sexual misconduct and the personnel files of any Crosier priest, brother or employee named in a sexual misconduct allegation. As necessary throughout the investigation, we asked for additional records and files in order to follow up and supplement our findings. We were provided complete access to all files we requested.
Interviews with Crosier Members
We conducted thorough in-person interviews with those Crosier Fathers and Brothers against whom allegations were made and who had not already acknowledged the abuse and accepted restrictions preventing them from further pastoral care of souls and any interaction with minors. While we documented each sexual misconduct allegation involving Crosier members, we did not follow up on allegations involving Crosiers that are deceased or have left the Order. We developed this list of interviewees through our review of the Crosier files and based on interviews with victims, Crosier contemporaries, former students, and reports received from other individuals.
Fr. Tom Carkhuff, osc, as then-prior provincial of the Crosier Order in the United States, along with personnel from Faegre & Benson, conducted in-person and phone interviews with Crosier contemporaries, meaning those individuals within the Order who have or had familiarity with the current and former Crosier members accused of sexual misconduct.
Interviews with Victims
We conducted extensive interviews with victims who have reported sexual misconduct incidents involving Crosiers. The names of these victims came to us through many sources. These sources included Crosier personnel and complaint files, interviews with Crosiers, students, and Crosier staff, as well as new reports that were precipitated by recent publicity and Crosier invitations to report claims of sexual misconduct to the local authorities, the Crosier Prior Provincial or our offices.
We started the process by reviewing the Crosier files, examining each of the sexual misconduct allegations contained within the files. In cases where detailed accounts were not available in the files, we contacted the victims and gave them the opportunity to tell their stories. We asked questions about the events in order to create a full and accurate picture of these past events.
Based on the invitations to contact us, we received numerous letters, e-mails and phone calls from victims. We responded to these victims in the same manner detailed above, letting them tell their stories and asking questions to understand the allegations being made.
Interviews with Former Students of Crosier Seminary Prep
We determined that in order to conduct a thorough investigation we also needed to contact some former students of Crosier Seminary Prep. Accordingly, we obtained a random sampling of former students attending Crosier Seminary Prep from the 1960s through the close of the school in 1989. Although we attempted to reach many more, we spoke with 20 students who attended Crosier Seminary Prep between 1963 and 1989, asking them to discuss any first-hand knowledge, stories, suspicions, and/or rumors of which they were aware at the time they attended Crosier Seminary Prep. We were not made aware of any additional perpetrators from these interviews.
Invitation to the Community and the Public
Through both the pulpit and mass mailings, we and the Crosiers have invited anyone with information about sexual misconduct involving Crosiers to come forward. In parishes where Crosier members have been or are involved in public ministry, the Crosiers made this invitation from the pulpit to the entire community. In addition, a letter was sent to Crosier constituencies—school alumni of Crosier Seminary Prep and Our Lady of the Lake Seminary/Wawasee Prep, friends, donors, volunteers, parishioners, former Crosier members—asking that anyone with information about sexual misconduct issues please contact the Crosiers and/or Faegre & Benson. This invitation elicited several responses and reports that have been documented and investigated.
Overall, we both solicited and received information from a wide variety of sources to compile our report. We have reviewed, investigated, and documented the information received from all of these sources in order to prepare a final report to the Crosier Province.