Protesters hold rally against Children's Theatre Company over sexual abuse suit
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Protesters started what they say will be a weekly rally outside the Children's Theatre Company on Saturday after allegations that the company sought legal fees from the victim in a sexual abuse case.
This week, Laura Stearns Adams said that attorneys from the CTC filed court papers aimed at getting her to pay $300,000 in legal fees in the case where Stearns Adams said she was sexually abused by a CTC teacher in the 1980s.
In January, a jury ordered the teacher, Jason McLean, to pay $3.7 million to Stearns Adams for the abuse, but found the Children's Theatre Company negligent but not liable -- meaning they didn't have to pay.
At the same time, McLean, who has denied the sexual abuse allegations, has apparently moved to Mexico, and Stearns Adams says he hasn't paid a cent.
Friday, the Children's Theatre Company told FOX 9 they weren't seeking legal fees from Stearns Adams but issued an apology anyway and said they wouldn't try to make her pay the $300,000.
"We let a court filing go forward without thinking about how it would feel from your perspective that was our mistake and we want to set it right," said Peter Brosius, the artistic director of the CTC. "Starting with this clear and unambiguous promise: Under no circumstances will we seek to recover any costs from you."
Speaking at Saturday's protest, however, Stearns Adams said that's not enough. She says the company should admit their failures in the case.
"Words are empty without action," she wrote. "I want them to acknowledge their general negligence."
She added, "They said a lot of things and made a lot of promises and until I see real actions, I'm not going to change my stance."
Protest organizers say they plan to return next Saturday, and each Saturday after, for further protests. Along with supporting Stearns Adams, the group says they hope to bring attention to other CTC survivors.