Monday, November 29, 2010

Archdiocese pursues victim
Archdiocese seeks $64K in abuse case
Archdiocese wants to recoup legal fees after a suit alleging abuse by priest in Burnsville was dismissed.

By ROSE FRENCH, Star Tribune

Last update: November 24, 2010 - 8:11 PM
Catholic clergy sex abuse victims are protesting a move by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to try to force an alleged victim to pay the archdiocese nearly $64,000 in legal costs -- the largest amount sought by the archdiocese to date.

The case involves an unnamed Twin Cities man who alleges he was sexually abused by former priest Thomas Adamson between 1980 and 1982, while Adamson was serving at Church of the Risen Savior in Burnsville. The lawsuit filed against both the archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona charges that church officials knew of abuse complaints but did nothing to prevent further abuse.

But Ramsey District Judge Gregg Johnson dismissed the case in October, saying the alleged abuse happened too long ago, according to the statute of limitations. The alleged victim is now appealing that decision.

Earlier this week, archdiocese officials asked Johnson to make the alleged victim cover its legal costs, much of which went to pay experts testifying in the case, according to court documents. The case was initially filed in 2006.

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference in front of the archdiocese in St. Paul on Wednesday, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called the archdiocese move a "mean-spirited" tactic designed to intimidate other victims because of the amount the archdiocese is seeking.

"We in SNAP believe it's immoral for a bishop to exploit legal technicalities and hide behind an archaic and predator-friendly statute of limitations," said David Clohessy, director of SNAP, referring to Archbishop John Nienstedt. "A profit-making secular businessman might do this. But it's just wrong for a professed spiritual figure to do so."

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