Settlement reached in sex abuse lawsuit against Minneapolis' Children's Theatre Company

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought by six victims of child sex abuse by the former director at Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre Company.

In 2015, six victims said they had been abused by John Clarke Donahue in the 1970s. Attorneys say the settlement will allow them to move forward as they continue to deal with the life-long effects of abuse.

“The survivors do feel a sense of resolution and a sense of acknowledgment from the theatre and a real sense of being able to move forward,” said attorney Molly Burke.

The six say they were repeatedly abused by Donahue, the company’s founder, in a culture that allowed it to happen.

“For the survivors, the time has been challenging because these cases have been pending for years,” explains Burke.

There are nine other cases still in mediation. Those cases happened in the late seventies and eighties and involve a different perpetrator. Burke is confident those cases will also be resolved.

“Certainly, we were always very hopeful and really wanted what was best for the survivors which is reaching a settlement as a pass resolution,” Burke explains.

The Children’s Theater posted a “message to the community” on its website on Wednesday, explaining they’ve made changes since victims have come forward. One of the newest is that they will now include the history of abuse at CTC when training all new employees and volunteers.

Donahue passed away earlier this year at the age of 80.