Former Winona Diocese Priest Admits to Sex Abuse, Won't Face Criminal Charges

Updated: 06/11/2014 9:26 PM
Created: 06/11/2014 12:12 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A former priest with the Diocese of Winona admits sexually abusing at least a dozen children, but because too much time has gone by, he won't face criminal charges.

Thomas Adamson is at the center of a lawsuit against church officials in the Twin Cities and the Diocese of Winona.

A recent change with Minnesota's statute of limitations law allows the victims to file civil lawsuits, but it does not allow for criminal charges because the abuse happened so long ago.

Adamson admits sexually abusing at least 12 teens from the 1960's to the mid 1980's, including in Rochester. He's very matter of fact about it and doesn't appear to be very remorseful.

In the deposition, Adams says he think of what he did as a sin rather than a crime and he doesn't think he should've spent time in jail.

He also goes into graphic details about what happened, talking about masturbation as well as oral sex and ejaculation.

Adamson says when he was confronted about the abuse, church leaders sent him to other parishes or treatment, but didn't ask about other victims.

An attorney representing alleged victims believes Adamson abused at least 40 children.

Adamson still lives in Rochester. He was removed from ministry in 1985 and defrocked in 2009.

The Diocese of Winona still pays Adamson a monthly pension of $1,650 and pays his health insurance premium.

We reached out to the Winona Diocese, but were told nobody was available for comment.

To view video of Adamson's deposition click here. Warning, there is graphic content.


Thomas Adamson