Another lawsuit has been filed against Twin Cities actor-turned-entrepreneur Jason McLean and the Children's Theatre Company (CTC), alleging sexual abuse of a minor and institutional negligence.
The suit, filed Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis on behalf of an unnamed Jane Doe, alleges that McLean abused her for nine months starting in fall 1984, when she was 15 and he was a teacher and leading man at CTC. (The Star Tribune does not identify alleged victims of sexual assaults unless they do so themselves.)
The complaint follows a suit filed Dec. 1 alleging sexual abuse by McLean and CTC co-founder John Clark Donahue, as well as negligence in hiring and supervision by the theater.
McLean, 61, who owns the Loring Pasta Bar and the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, did not respond to requests for comment.
Last week, his attorney, Jon Hopeman, noted that the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigated allegations against McLean in 1984 but that no charges resulted, and said his client "intends to defend against this lawsuit with all his might and to clear his name."
The Children's Theatre released a statement Thursday, saying "our guiding principles are to have the truth be known and to see justice done for anyone who may have been the victim of sexual abuse. … We welcome any information that may come forward as a result of this process."
The suits revisit a scandal that engulfed CTC three decades ago, when then-artistic director Donahue pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with three teenage boys. In October 1984, he was sentenced to a year in jail and 15 years' probation. He served 10 months.
McLean went on leave from the theater while he was being investigated by the BCA. The allegations cited in Wednesday's suit occurred after he returned to work, according to the complaint. It says he and the plaintiff acted together in at least four productions.
The complaint also alleges that McLean abused at least five female students from 1981 to 1985, and "coerced" one of them to lie about the abuse to a grand jury investigating CTC.
St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson represents the latest plaintiff and two others who filed suit Dec. 1. Laura Stearns Adams, an actor and artisan who now works as wigmaster at the Guthrie Theater, alleges that McLean sexually assaulted her in 1983 when she was 15. And an unnamed John Doe accuses Donahue of "multiple instances" of sexual battery in 1977 when the litigant was 15.
Donahue has not responded to requests for comment.
The suits are being brought under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which extended the statute of limitations in seeking redress for past crimes. The law expires in May.