Varsity Theater owner on the run after being accused of sexual assault

- Minneapolis restauranteur Jason McLean seemed determined to clear his name in December 2015 after sex abuse attorney Jeff Anderson and three former student actors filed suit against him. All allege McLean sexually assaulted several teens during his time as an acting instructor at the Children’s Theatre Company in the 1980s.

Tuesday, McLean was nowhere to be found. Evasion, according to Anderson, is the name of McLean’s game.
Anderson maintains the well-known businessman is on the legal lam.

“All still bear the scars of betrayal and innocence lost,” Anderson told FOX 9 Tuesday of McLean’s victims after a City Pages article drew attention to the Varsity Theater’s empty concert calendar.

McLean owns both the Varsity Theatre and its neighboring Loring Pasta Bar in the heart of Dinkytown.

Anderson confirmed McLean was a no-show at his January 24th deposition and believes the Twin Cities entrepreneur lost legal representation for ethical reasons.

“He had one of the top lawyers in the Twin Cities and when we turned over love letters and documents we retrieved that showed that [McLean] was more than guilty of criminal sexual conduct on multiple kids. When that was received, I would speculate that he either lied to the lawyers or was trying to move assets to avoid accountability and they were through,” Anderson said.

Since the FOX 9 Investigators first brought you the story of the latest allegations against McLean, Anderson says his firm has identified at least five others who McLean targeted.

“Jason McLean is a Svengali-like figure,” Anderson continued, “he had a powerful position as an actor and as a teacher and these kids looked up to him and actually thought they were in love with him.”

McLean is accused of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with several then-child actors. All ranged in age from 13-16.

“They are in some ways still in a prison he incarcerated them in. He is a free man and should be the one that is behind bars and suffering the consequences, not the innocent children,” nodded Anderson.

Survivors tell Anderson the abuse took place around the same time the Children Theatre Company’s artistic director, John Clark Donahue, was convicted of molesting teenage boys – promising them starring roles in exchange for sex.

“Many of these things happened while adults and administrators were aware that these kinds of things were going on. When I took Donahue’s deposition and asked him about Mclean he said ‘well I really wasn’t paying attention to [McClean’s] romantic affairs,’” Anderson detailed.

In his 2015 statement to FOX 9 McLean - through an attorney - cited the BCA’S 1982 investigation of the Children’s Theatre Company. McLean was never charged back then, not even mentioned publicly. At the time the theatre board kept the criminal investigation a secret for years and allowed Donahue and McLean to continue working.

FOX 9 attempted to make contact with McLean at his south Minneapolis home Tuesday to no avail.
“He continues to be on the lamb and we continue to be on the hunt,” Anderson said.

Anderson has located McClean in California and Minneapolis but has yet to get a face-to-face service with the businessman while maintaining truth, accountability and protection of others are fuel to this pursuit.

“We will either have him held in contempt for failure to appear and seek judgements against him and properties that he holds, and businesses that he operates. He can run but he can’t hide. Eventually we’ll get him.”

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