March 09, 2006

Mother is seeking to assist the victims of sexual abuse

West Central Tribune

AP Associated Press
Published Thursday, March 09, 2006

ST. PAUL — Janet O’Connell stopped at the Minnesota Legislature, but Rome is her goal.

The mother of a 2002 murder victim in Hudson, Wis., encouraged Minnesota legislators on Wednesday to extend the time sex abuse victims have to sue their abusers. Eventually, she and her husband, Tom, want to talk to the pope because a judge ruled a Catholic priest likely killed their son to hide past sexual abuse.

“My son’s dead because he was going to do something right,” O’Connell said in an interview, fighting back tears. “Danny did not die in vain.”

Dan O’Connell and employee James Ellison were shot to death more than four years ago at O’Connell’s Hudson funeral home. A judge ruled last October that the Rev. Ryan Erickson, a former priest at the local Catholic Church, probably killed the two after Dan O’Connell learned Erickson had sexually abused children.

Erickson killed himself after he became a suspect.

Posted by kshaw at March 9, 2006 07:07 AM