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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Another prelate now wants thousands from alleged victim

Winona’s bishop says he’s owed $68,000 by Twin Cities man

(And last week, Twin Cities prelate separately sought $64,000)

SNAP blasts both Catholic officials for “shocking, hurtful and intimidating move”

(Neinstedt “postpones” his maneuver but SNAP says it should be “dropped for good”)

Both prelates, group says, should “publicly explain & apologize” & pledge to never do it again”

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose a highly unusual new legal move by a second Minnesota bishop to force an alleged victim to pay a diocese $68,000.

They will also
-- blast Winona’s bishop and church hierarchy for the “mean-spirited” maneuver, and
-- urge parishioners to stop donating to the church until the bishop reverses himself.

WHEN
TODAY, Thursday, December 2, 1:30 P.M.

WHERE
In Winona, outside the Catholic chancery office (Diocesan Pastoral Center), 55 W. Sanborn

WHO
Two clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) including the organization’s Minnesota state director

WHY
In an unprecedented move, Winona Bishop John Quinn is trying to force an alleged child sex abuse victim to pay a $68,000 for archdiocesan legal costs in a clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit. Last week, Minneapolis-St. Paul Archbishop John Neinstedt took the same move with the same man in the same case, seeking $64,000.

Both bishops are defendants in a civil lawsuit brought by a Twin Cities man, Jim Kennan, who says he was repeatedly molested as a child by Fr. Thomas Adamson, who worked in both dioceses.

Last month, a judge tossed out the case out on the statute of limitations. And late last week, Neinstedt formally asked the same judge to make the alleged victim pay $64,000 to the archdiocese for its legal costs. On top of that, Quinn is seeking an additional $68,000 for his diocese.

(On Tuesday, Neinstedt announced he was postponing his move to get the money.)

Victims decry the highly unusual tactic, calling it “mean-spirited” and “designed to intimidate others.”

The case accuses Minnesota’s most prolific predator priest, Fr. Thomas Paul Adamson, of molesting a boy, Jim Keenan, in the 1980s at Risen Savior parish in Apple Valley. (Adamson faces at least dozen accusers, most of whom have sued and settled.) According to the lawsuit, church officials were told as early as 1963 about Adamson’s crimes. Yet they kept quietly transferring him from parish to parish without warning church members.

The civil case, filed in 2006, charges top church staff with fraud and seeks to publicly expose the names of other child molesting archdiocesan clerics.

In October, Judge Gregg Johnson sided with the archdiocese in October and tossed out the case. The victim is now appealing Johnson’s decision.

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

The organization also believes it’s immoral for bishops to “exploit legal technicalities.” SNAP says that Neinstedt and Quinn should “fight on the merits” if they believe Adamson did not, in fact, sexually assault Keenan as a 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.

Adamson was born in 1933 and grew up in Byron, MN. Ordained in 1958, he worked in numerous Minnesota towns including Winona, Adrian, Rochester, Albert Lea, Wykoff, Fountain, Caledonia, Hammond, St. Paul Park, Columbia Heights. He has lived most recently in Eau Claire, WI.

Keenan is now in his 40s and will NOT be present at today’s news conference. (He originally filed as John Doe but disclosed his identity earlier this week.) Keenan is represented by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson (651 227 9990, 612 817 8665 cell, jeff@andersonadvocates.com)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukXU6PkrsWM

CONTACT
Bob Schwiderski 952 471 3422 skibrs@q.com, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
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