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Fmr. Minn. Priest Admits To Decades Of Sexual Abuse

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNAEPOLIS (WCCO) — A videotaped deposition of a former Minnesota priest shows him calmly describing graphic sexual encounters with at least ten boys.

The deposition of former priest Thomas Adamson is the latest in a series released as the result of a lawsuit against him by a man who says he was abused as a boy in the mid-70s.

Others who have given testimony in the case include current Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Adamson served in Minnesota parishes from nearly 30 years, and was transferred at last seven times as abuse claims piled up.

What is chilling in part about this testimony is the very casual way Adamson, now 80, describes sexual encounters. And while he admits to molesting ten boys, he is questioned about more than thirty children who have accused him in the deposition.

“It probably started with masturbation, and developed from there,” Adamson said. “It included oral sex eventually … anyplace.”

Online records from victims’ groups show Adamson served in 20 different Minnesota parishes and schools from the late 1950s through the mid-1980s, and later worked at an Eau Claire nursing home. He remained a priest until 2009.

When asked how many kids he molested, Adamson said he didn’t know, and he’d have to “study that out.”

Jeff Anderson, who has represented hundreds of abuse victims over several decades, says the Adamson case stands out.

“There are a lot of kids out there who are suffering in silence, who could have been helped, who could have been reached,” Anderson said.

The archdiocese declined to comment on the deposition. The lawsuit against Adamson continues to move forward. WCCO did not hear back from his attorney.

Adamson currently lives in an apartment in Rochester, and he continues to collect a $1,600 monthly pension from the Catholic Church.

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