A Ramsey County judge ordered a former top official for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to sit for another deposition in a clergy sexual abuse case.
Explore the full investigation Clergy abuse, cover-up and crisis in the Twin Cities Catholic church
Judge John Van de North on Wednesday granted victims' attorney Jeff Anderson an additional two and a half hours to question a former vicar general, the Rev. Kevin McDonough, because the archdiocese turned over some priest files too late to be useful for McDonough's April 16 deposition.
• McDonough's April 16 deposition: Former church official disputes archbishop's clergy abuse testimony
McDonough handled clergy abuse allegations under Archbishops John Roach, Harry Flynn and John Nienstedt. Anderson is suing the archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona on behalf of a man who says he was sexually abused as a child in the 1970s by the Rev. Thomas Adamson.
The lawsuit alleges the church created a public nuisance by failing to disclose information about priests accused of sexually abusing minors.
Van de North said he was prepared to sanction the archdiocese for its delay in producing evidence until Anderson withdrew the request for sanctions, saying he just wanted the information. The judge declined to give Anderson additional time to question Nienstedt.
With a Sept. 22 trial date looming, both sides are clashing over what electronic evidence must be turned over.
Archdiocese attorney Tom Wieser stressed the alleged abuse by Adamson happened the year Jimmy Carter was elected president, long before digital records.
Plaintiffs' attorneys expressed doubt that the 5,500 pages turned over represented the complete electronic evidence on priests who remained alive and about whom the archdiocese continued to make decisions. Turning over emails and cell phone records would cost the archdiocese about $200, they argued.
An archdiocese attorney countered that the cost would run several hundred thousand dollars — money the judge said could be better spent on any legitimate claims by victims.
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.