MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A Hennepin County Judge has issued a default judgment for $2.5 million against former Minneapolis restaurateur Jason McLean, 63, who has been accused in civil court of sexually assaulting underage actors who were with the Children’s Theatre Company in the 1980s.
"This is a legal judgment against McLean for rape,” said attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who is representing the five women who are accusing McLean, who was an actor and instructor with the theatre company at the time.
In court documents filed last week, Anderson claims that McLean is currently in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, buying a home for $1.4 million and negotiating the purchase of a hotel for $1.5 million. Another deposition from a real estate broker claims McLean is telling people he has $1.4 million in cash he needs to invest.
McLean also owns a restaurant in Oakland, Cali., called Small Wonder, which has the same bohemian aesthetic as the Loring Café in Minneapolis that McLean sold earlier this year to three of its managers for an undisclosed sum. McLean also sold the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis for $2.5 million.
"Guilty people run--and he's guilty, and knows he is," said Laura Adams, one of the women suing McLean.
Adams was cast in a play with McLean in 1983, when she was 15 and he was 28.
"I was cast in this role where I was his love interest," said Adams, who described how McLean spent months grooming her with affection before he sexually assaulted her. "That one event, it was clear to me it was wrong. I knew I had been raped but the fear and shame keeps you silent."
Mexican laws may make it very difficult to recover assets if McLean is successful in buying the home and hotel.
In the country, foreigners are forbidden from owning property near the coastline, leading to a common practice known as “fideicomiso” in which the bank holds legal title and control of the property, or a foreign owner such as McLean can set up a shell company.
Efforts to reach McLean, or an attorney representing him, were unsuccessful.