North Dakota priest says he's not sorry for sexually abusing two kids, but regrets the emotional trauma
FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA: A disgraced former North Dakota priest said he's not remorseful for sexual assaults he carried out on young children decades ago.
New documents released following an investigation into more than 50 Catholic Clergy from the Fargo and Bismarck Dioceses have named 53 priests with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor, including one Martin Cullen.
Cullen from Fargo was removed from the ministry in 1992 because of the allegations and admitted to Valley News Live that he sexually abused two children but said he wasn't sorry for his crimes. He did concede he regretted the emotional abuse his victims may feel now but said no more.
Other priests mentioned in those documents include Fernando Sayasaya, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for molesting two children in Cass County, and Abraham Anthony, who was charged in Stutsman County for sex crimes against boys in 2000 but fled to India and died before he could be arrested.
Attorneys from Bradshaw & Bryant, PLLC and O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss, which released the documents, said at a press conference that they will be attempting to change state laws for victims of sexual abuse.
"What we're doing today is asking the legislature to open up a window so that these survivors can come forward all at the same time," said Tatum O’Brien, one of the three attorneys who spoke. He added that he wanted victims to have the ability to "tell their story and have justice" and "make these dioceses and these priests accountable for their actions."
The attorneys said they want lawmakers to allow kids sexually abused by clergy members to sue the Catholic Church for damages even years after the incidents occurred. There is precedence for such a change, with neighboring Minnesota one of the states to have already implemented it.
The Fargo and Bismarck Catholic Dioceses said in a statement that they are both cooperating with the attorney general's office in its investigation.
They also advised anyone who had been a victim at the hands of a priest, deacon, bishop, employee, or volunteer working for either Diocese, a Catholic parish or a Catholic school to contact either law enforcement or Diocese of Bismarck (701-204-7216) or the Diocese of Fargo (701-356-7965).