Coming forth shows courage

Daily Editorial Board

After decades of silence, two former student actors at the Children’s Theatre Company filed suit Monday, alleging sexual abuse by then-employees of the theater — one of whom is local entrepreneur Jason McLean, owner of Varsity Theater and Loring Pasta Bar in Dinkytown.
The sexual abuse of minors took place in the 1970s and ’80s, the civil complaint said. It includes at least three alleged incidents on the part of McLean, who was a CTC actor and teaching artist at the time.
A state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation of sexual abuse allegations against McLean in 1984 did not result in any criminal charges.
Plaintiff Laura Adams, who said McLean sexually abused her when she was 15, said at a press conference Tuesday that she expects some people will wonder why she’s coming forward now.
“[I]t’s time to tell our stories,” she said. “We have held this secret far too long.”
The suit comes just months before the Minnesota Child Victims Act expires in May. The 2013 law, enacted in the midst of legal action against the Catholic Church and clergy, extends the statute of limitations for old cases of abuse.
Questioning the motives of victims of sexual abuse who come forward after decades only serves to retraumatize them. How long does it take to feel safe after abuse? It reasonably could take years before pursuing charges seems worth the possibility of being ostracized or discredited by strangers and loved ones alike.
We applaud Adams and the suit’s other anonymous plaintiff for seeking justice.