A Hennepin County district judge granted an order Wednesday for a $2.5 million default judgment against Jason McLean, the former Children’s Theatre Company actor accused of sexually assaulting girls at the theater in the 1980s.
The judgment was filed in a Jane Doe case, and the anonymous woman told the Star Tribune last week that she sought the court order because McLean had resurfaced in the U.S. After fleeing to Mexico in 2017 in the wake of the allegations, McLean returned last month to California, where he owns a restaurant and bar called Small Wonder.
McLean, 65, was never criminally charged, but five lawsuits were filed against him. In 2017, a judge granted a $2.5 million judgment in another Jane Doe case against McLean. Then in February, a jury returned a $3.68 million judgment against McLean in the case of plaintiff Laura Stearns, whose lawsuit was the only one of 16 against Children’s Theatre that went to trial.
McLean didn’t appear in court Wednesday morning and no attorney represented him, which was the case in most of the previous court hearings. The plaintiffs’ attorneys will have to transfer the judgments to California courts and then go through the collection process to find assets that don’t have liens or mortgages.
In the short hearing Wednesday morning, Judge Thomas Fraser asked the plaintiffs’ attorney, Molly Burke, if attorneys will pursue the funds in California, and Burke confirmed they will try to collect.
In addition to the California bar, McLean owns a seaside mansion in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, that was listed for $1,550 a night on Airbnb until it was removed from the site Friday after a Star Tribune inquiry to Airbnb. The 8,000-square-foot house, dubbed “Villa Viva,” has eight bedrooms, three pools and a home theater in a gated community and was listed for sale on Sept. 26 for $2.9 million.
The Star Tribune has been unable to reach McLean; a phone number listed for him was disconnected, an e-mail bounced back and there was no response to a letter mailed to him.
But last month, he told the Oakland-based Bay City News Service in a statement that he denied the allegations and the “cost of defense against these unwarranted claims, mostly tried by damaging publicity in the media, destroyed my enterprises in Minnesota and forced me into default.”
Other lawsuits against the Children’s Theatre name theater co-founder John Clark Donahue, who died earlier this year.
He pleaded guilty in the 1980s to molesting three boys and admitted to abusing and raping several others.
Earlier this month, the Children’s Theatre announced it had reached settlements for undisclosed amounts with all the plaintiffs and would start a $500,000 survivors fund.