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Jeffrey Anderson opens U.K. office to fight pedophile priests

Jeffrey Anderson, the St. Paul attorney who's made a career (and a mint) suing the Catholic church, has opened up a new practice in London to pursue the pedophile priest cases popping up across the pond.

They've already got their sights on Rev. Francis Markey, who is accused of molesting an eight-year-old boy in Granite Falls. Markey is currently in Ireland on extradition from a separate molestation charge.

"It really underscores the international movement of these guys to avoid exposure and prosecution," says Anderson of the case.

Markey had already been suspended several times on charges of sexual misconduct when he showed up in Granite Falls in 1982. The eight-year-old victim would visit Markey's home just across the street from St. Andrews Parish for his Holy Communion training. But instead of fulfilling his holy duties, Markey would drink, then deep kiss him, according to the victim. Later, Markey was again removed after parents complained he was being too touchy-feely with their kids.

A lawsuit filed yesterday accuses the New Ulm Diocese of knowing the priest molested other children in the past.

"What appeared to be this nice parish priest turned out to be a man who had an unbelievably checkered past," says Patrick Noakler, the victim's attorney.

In early 2010, Markey was charged with raping an Irish boy in the 1960s and was extradited back to Ireland. Since Markey cannot be extradited back for Anderson's civil case, his new firm in London will be able to partner with the team in St. Paul to follow through with the New Ulm lawsuit.

Anderson says he was contacted by a lawyer in London earlier this fall with the idea for a international partnership. She tapped him for his experience--more and more cases of priest sexual misconduct are coming to light in Europe, and Anderson has already got 1,500 cases under his belt.

"We've learned a great deal about not only offenders but those that protect them," Anderson says.

He recently became licensed to practice law in the U.K. and will split his time between St. Paul and London.


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