Two former students at Minneapolis' Children's Theatre Company filed suit Tuesday against the theater and its co-founder, John Clark Donahue.
Both are men, age 54, identified only as "John Doe." Each allege that "in multiple instances Donahue inflicted harmful, offensive and unpermitted sexual contact" upon them, from "approximately 1976 to 1977" in one case and "approximately 1978 to 1979" in the other.
The new plaintiffs join six others who have sued CTC and former staffers since Dec. 1 in cases stemming from the sex abuse scandal that engulfed the theater three decades ago.
A person who answered the phone at Donahue's home Tuesday said that "on advice of his lawyer, he will not speak to the press."
The Children's Theatre issued a new statement Tuesday saying, "We continue to support the efforts of those who have been victims of sexual abuse to have the truth known and to see justice served. These goals are shared by the theater and — we believe — by every member of our community who understands and supports our mission."
So far, three civil suits have been filed against Donahue, who pleaded guilty to molesting three boys in 1984 and served 10 months in jail.
The first was filed by another John Doe who revealed his identity Tuesday. Todd Hildebrandt, 53, said he has come forward to help others who have suffered abuse.
"There is a clear link between child abuse and adverse adult health," he said. "The psychiatric literature is clear: Adults who experienced sexual abuse as child[ren] are at risk for post traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, guilt, impaired sense of self, feelings of isolation, substance abuse, interpersonal difficulties … and suicide."
The cases have been brought under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which extended the statute of limitations on abuse until May 24.