The Archbishop of St. Louis, Robert J. Carlson, claims he does not know if he knew sex with children was a crime and that he does not know when he learned it was a crime, according to video of his recent deposition released June 9.
The St. Louis Post-Distpatch reports that the deposition was taken "as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit in Minnesota involving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, Minn. The plaintiff in the case, only identified as “Doe 1,” claims to have been abused in the 1970s by the Rev. Thomas Adamson at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Paul Park, Minn."
From the video:
Attorney: Archbishop, you knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid.
Carlson: Umm, I'm not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it's a crime.
A: When did you first discern that it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid?
C: I don't remember.
A: When did you first discern that it was a crime for a priest to engage in sex with a kid who he had under his control?
C: I don't remember that either.
A: Do you have any doubt in your mind that you knew that in the 70's?
C: I don't remember if I did or if I didn't.
A: In 1984 you are...an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul in Minneapolis, you knew it was a crime then, right?
C: I'm not sure if I did or didn't.
The Post-Dispatch reported on evidence that shows, however, that Carlson did know it was a crime then:
In a 1984 document, for example, Carlson wrote to the then archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John R. Roach, about one victim of sexual abuse and mentioned that the statute of limitations for filing a claim would not expire for more than two years. He also wrote that the parents of the victim were considering reporting the incident to the police.
In another part of the deposition, Carlson says he knew it was a crime for a priest to touch the genitals of a child. Despite this, he says he never reported cases of sexual abuse that came before him—instead encouraging parents to report them on at least one occasion.
Watch the clip of the deposition, AFTER THE JUMP...