Danville Woman Claims Nun Abuse

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A Danville woman who claims she was sexually abused by a nun has sued a Sisters of St. Francis order, alleging the order was negligent and failed to investigate or address the allegations.
Christine Bertrand filed her lawsuit Tuesday in Olmsted County District Court. It seeks more than $50,000 in damages.
“The whole topic of nun abuse is just starting to come forward,” Bertrand said.
Leaders at the Sisters of St. Francis said there is no evidence of wrongdoing and they will defend against all claims.
Bertrand, 50, claims when she was a student at St. Juliana’s School in Chicago she was sexually abused by Sister Benen Kent, a music teacher and member of the Third Order Regular, Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, also known as the Rochester Franciscans.
Bertrand, who owns a marketing business in Danville, claims the incidents occurred between 1962 and 1967.
She also claims she was sexually abused by Kent during a visit to Assisi Heights motherhouse in Rochester in 1967.
Bertrand said she had forgotten about the abuse until about three years ago.
Kent died in 2003 at age 85.
Also Tuesday, Bertrand demanded the resignation of Sister Dolore Rockers, president of the Franciscan sisters.
Leaders of the order said the allegations of misconduct were brought to their attention in 2002 and that policy in reviewing and responding to the allegations was followed. The leaders said intermediary attempts to resolve the issues failed.
The statement does not address Bertrand’s demand that Rockers resign.