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Associated Press, Published May 29 2013

Ex-priest named in first suit under new Minnesota law

ST. PAUL – A civil lawsuit filed Wednesday by a man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest nearly 40 years ago is the first to be brought since the Minnesota Legislature loosened the statute of limitations on such crimes, attorneys for the accuser said.

The lawsuit was filed in Ramsey County court on behalf of the 51-year-old Twin Cities man, identified only as “Doe 1,” and seeks at least $50,000 in damages.

The lawsuit, which also named the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona as defendants, accuses former priest Thomas Adamson of sexual battery and accuses the archdiocese and diocese of being a public nuisance for refusing to release the names of 46 “credibly accused child molesting priests.”

“Our kids remain at great peril because we do not know who these offenders are, and they do,” said Jeff Anderson, St. Paul lawyer for the plaintiff.

The lawsuit seeks a court order to require the Twin Cities archdiocese and Winona diocese to release names of the accused priests “so kids in our community and across Minnesota can be better protected,” Anderson said at a news conference Wednesday.

According to Anderson, the lawsuit was the first filed in Minnesota under a law approved this year by the state Legislature and signed last week by Gov. Mark Dayton that lifts a six-year civil statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse.

The lawsuit alleges that Adamson, while working at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in St. Paul Park, “engaged in unpermitted sexual contact” between 1976 and 1977 with Doe 1, who was a teenage altar boy.

According to the lawsuit, Adamson had “unlimited access” to children at St. Thomas Aquinas, even though the archdiocese knew or should have known that Adamson had “sexually molested dozens of boys, admitted to molesting boys, that he committed offenses at almost every parish he served, and that Adamson was a danger to them.”

A home telephone number could not be located for Adamson, now 78 and believed to be living in Rochester.


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