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Mike Bryant
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Loser Pay Or More Victim Intimidation?

5 comments

I ran across another update from Jeff Anderson that should be of great concern for anyone looking for justice for sexual abuse victims. Basically, in October a Ramsey County District Judge dismissed a case against the Catholic Church leaders, finding that what happened was beyond statute of limitations.

The court didn’t find that the assault never happened, nor did they find that former priest Thomas Adamson isn’t a pedophile that the church hid or moved around with knowledge of his abuses. There have been 20 people who claim Adamson abused them when they were children at church parishes in both the Winona diocese and Twin Cities archdiocese. Many of the cases have already been settled out of court.

In 1990, a jury awarded one of Adamson’s victims $3.5 million, which was later reduced to $1 million. Defendants included the archdiocese and the Winona Diocese.

The court simply found that enough time had passed that the victim no longer had a remedy. The Church leaders responded by asking for $64,000 in costs. How is that for re-victimizing?

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) explained:

(that the defendant is) trying to punish this victim for trying to discover and disclose the identities of other local predator priests. And they believe Neinstedt is trying to intimidate other victims from coming forward. The group is appalled that Neinstedt is using such “scorched –earth legal tactics” against an alleged victim of a “proved predator” about whom church officials had repeatedly, for years, been warned.

The organization also believes it’s immoral for a bishop to “exploit legal technicalities” and says that (Minneapolis-St. Paul Archbishop) Neinstedt should “fight on the merits” if he believes Adamson did not, in fact, sexually assault this boy.

According to BishopAccountability.org (where a photo of Adamson can be found), “Experts say he may have abused as many as 100 boys.” In 1990, in Minnesota’s first pedophile priest trial, a jury awarded one of Adamson’s victims $3.5 million (later reduced to $1 million). Defendants included the archdiocese and the Winona diocese.

The victim is now appealing that decision.

It’s time that the Minnesota Legislature looked at the statute of limitations and understands that these crimes need answers. It also is time that the Church leaders truly show us what zero tolerance means and quits re-victimizing these poor souls.

If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.

5 Comments

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  1. CER1940 says:
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    The RCC is not likely to quit re-victimizing these people until the state changes the protections for the citizens. Preferably the state will remove or greatly extend the statue of limitations for sex abuse crimes… especially those against children.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    That is so true, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  3. Ray Marshall says:
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    Should this change apply just to the Catholic Church, or should it apply to all crimes.

    Why shouldn’t there be a penalty for lawyers who should know the law before they take on cases? Statute of limitation laws are very clear and there is plenty of case law for clarification.

  4. CER1940 says:
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    Mr. Marshall,
    “Should this change apply just to the Catholic Church, or should it apply to all crimes.”
    It should apply to all who abuse children and to those who cover the abuse up. If you believe that only the catholic church is guilty… so be it.

    “Why shouldn’t there be a penalty for lawyers who should know the law before they take on cases? Statute of limitation laws are very clear and there is plenty of case law for clarification.”
    I believe there is an appeal, this may not be over. The RCC and the bishop did not sue a lawyer. They sued a victim whose suit has been unsuccessful so far. The church, priest and bishop have not been judged innocent. They have “won” so far based on a technicality.

  5. Mike Bryant says:
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    The issue is abuse of minors that are threatened and told to forget it. That no one will believe them. The fraud involved is what makes the differance.
    Statute of Limitations were created to have some certainty for the defendant, but not to prevent people from gaining justice.
    Thanks to each of you for taking the time to read and comment.