A St Louis archbishop embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal has claimed he didn’t know it was illegal for priests to have sex with children in the 1980s, according to a court deposition released on Monday.
Archbishop Robert Carlson, who was chancellor of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul at the time, was deposed as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit in Minnesota involving the archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona.
In a testimony filmed last month and released by the St. Paul law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, the Catholic archbishop was asked whether he had known it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child.
‘I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,’ Carlson responded. ‘I understand today it’s a crime.’
When asked when he first realized it was a crime for an adult – including priests – to have sex with a child, Carlson, 69, shook his head.
‘I don’t remember,’ he testified.
Yet according to other documents released by attorney Jeff Anderson, who is representing an alleged clergy abuse victim, Carlson showed clear knowledge that sexual abuse was a crime when discussing incidents with church officials during his time in Minnesota.
Reference: Daily Mail;