ST. LOUIS - There are new developments in a priest sex abuse case out of Minnesota. The Archdiocese of St. Louis says Archbishop Carlson knew a crime had been committed when he learned of the abuse.
That abuse was happening where Carlson was serving in Minneapolis - St. Paul more than 30 years ago. So now, questions are being raised about why Carlson did not report the crimes to police.
In a conference call Wednesday, Archbishop Carlson's attorney, Charles Goldberg, said reporting the abuse at the time of the abuse was not mandatory. He also pointed out that Carlson did not discourage the victim's parents from going to police. The abuser in the case is former Minnesota Priest Thomas Adamson. His deposition for a lawsuit in Minnesota was just released by a Minneapolis area law firm Wednesday.
In the deposition, Adamson responds "Yes," to the question "Did you abuse that kid?" He goes on to say it happened several times.
The law firm also released 1984 documents being used as evidence in the case. The documents show Carlson knew Adamson had abused boys. The memos are from Carlson to his Archbishop at the time in Minneapolis-St. Paul, John Roach.
In one, Carlson says Adamson admitted to sexually abusing children. He also states that if reported, he believes the abuse would be considered first degree criminal sexual assault. The memo goes on to say that given the seriousness of the Archdiocese's exposure, it should posture itself in such a way that any publicity will be minimized. And, that he doesn't believe Adamson had come to grips with his priestly responsibilities.
In the other memo, Carlson states a jail counselor had informed him that an inmate reported being sexually abused by Adamson in the past. The last line in the memo says "The statute of limitations does not run out for 2 ½ years," and that the inmate's mother and father were considering reporting the incident to police.
Although the Archdioceses says Carlson was aware the abuse was a crime, the abuser, Adamson, says he didn't think about the fact that he was committing the crimes at the time. Instead, he said he thought about how he was committing a sin.
In the deposition, when asked how many kids he sexually molested, he replied, "I don't know I'd have to study that out." He also states he has never spent a day in jail, and that he doesn't believe he should have. He also admits he is still receiving $1,650 from the church for his pension, as well as the payments for a secondary health insurance plan.
NewsChannel 5 did contact the law firm that released the documents and depositions. It says a judge is allowing them to release the videos and documents because it's believed there could be more people at risk of abuse by Catholic priests.
You can read the memos below this story.