Children’s Theatre Company reaches settlement agreement with victims of child sex abuse

After years of litigation, the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis has settled more than a dozen child sexual abuse lawsuits.

Attorney Jeff Anderson made the announcement Friday morning. The 16 lawsuits filed against the theatre company stem from cases involving boys and girls who were sexually abused by former employees in the 1970s and 80s.

The terms of the settlement have not been revealed, but the theatre has agreed to set up a $500,000 fund to support survivors. Two women who were sexually abused as child performers spoke out during a news conference on Friday.

"Today marks a point where Children’s Theatre is being held accountable for what happened to me there," said survivor Jina Penn-Tracy. "And for that, I’m grateful."

"This is not a finish line," added Laura Stearns, another survivor. "This is a hurdle in a long process of navigating the repercussions of the harms done to us. We are all in different places in our process and everyone has a right to their anger and their hurt as well as their relief if that is what they feel."

Friday, Stearns called for an end to a months-long boycott of the theatre company.

Anderson says more than 100 victims were abused by at least 20 perpetrators. Former teacher Jason McLean is at the center of many of those accusations. He is said to have recently resurfaced in California.