A Hennepin County District judge dismissed a lawsuit by a former Breck School student who accused the Golden Valley prep school with fraud and concealment in connection with sexual abuse by a former teacher, William Jacobs.
Richard Covin, who attended Breck from 1972 to 1975, said he was 12 when Jacobs began abusing him over a three-year period.
In a lawsuit that he filed in April, he accused the school of fraud and concealment, saying Breck allowed Jacobs to continue teaching after he was confronted about allegedly abusing students. Covin also sued Jacobs.
Jacobs, who also served as the Minneapolis park police chief from 1987 to 2001, was sentenced in April to 18 years in prison after he admitted to three counts each of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography.
He was prosecuted after a teenager came forward in January 2010 and said Jacobs had molested him for three years during camping trips and visits to Jacobs' house and cabin.
The charges led at least two dozen other men to say Jacobs molested them for decades while he taught at Blake and Breck schools and served as a counselor at the YMCA's Camp Warren.
In his ruling Monday dismissing Covin's suit, District Court Judge William R. Howard said in part that the law "imposes no duty on the school to have disclosed certain information" to Covin.
"There can be no doubt by anyone involved in this case that what happened to the Plaintiff is reprehensible, and the conduct of Jacobs and the officials at Breck School in the 1970s cannot be condoned," Howard said in a memorandum.
"But this Court is not in the position to go back in time and change what might have been. Nor can this Court ignore what is currently the law in Minnesota."
MARY LYNN SMITH