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Jury finds Children’s Theatre negligent in sexual abuse case

February 1, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A jury has found the Children’s Theatre Company to be negligent in the sexual abuse of a minor in a case dating back to the 1980s.

However, the jury in Hennepin County found the theater was not liable for damages because it did not directly cause the assault of Laura Stearns. Instead, the jury returned a $3.68 million verdict against former teacher Jason McLean on Thursday.

Stearns sued the theater and McLean, alleging he raped her and other students. McLean has not been criminally charged in the investigation that sent theater leader John Clark Donahue to jail. The Star Tribune reports that it’s believed McLean fled to Mexico in 2017.

On Friday, Stearns said the verdict validates her experience. The Children’s Theatre Company issued a statement saying it wants “justice done and the truth to be known.”

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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