A man who alleges he was sexually abused by a former Twin Cities area Catholic priest in the 1980s is seeking to have the names of other accused clergy made public.
Attorneys for Jim Keenan, of Savage, filed a motion in Ramsey County district court on Thursday requesting the release of “lists of priests accused of child sex abuse” in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Diocese of Winona.
St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, whose law firm represents Keenan, obtained an archdiocesan list of 33 priests accused of sexual abuse involving minors. The Diocese of Winona has a similar list with 13 alleged abusers.
Previously, Anderson has pressed to make both lists public as part of the case — brought in 2006 by Keenan — but has been barred by court order.
Twin Cities archdiocese officials have argued releasing the names could subject an innocent person to false accusations.
In a released statement Thursday, Anderson said he’s seeking to have the names unsealed because “many of the alleged offenders may be living in communities where people are not aware of their abuse history and therefore put children in danger.”
In his lawsuit, Keenan, 44, says former priest Thomas Adamson abused him between 1980 and 1982 while Adamson served at Church of the Risen Savior in Burnsville. Adamson was last known to be living in the Eau Claire, Wis., suburb of Altoona, according to Anderson.
Keenan’s case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona was dismissed last October after Ramsey County District Judge Gregg Johnson ruled he hadn’t met the standard that would allow an expert to testify about repressed memories. Without the expert testimony, Keenan couldn’t show why the six-year statute of limitations shouldn’t apply.
But on June 27, a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned that decision and ruled Keenan should be able to go back to court and have experts testify about repressed memories.
The archdiocese still has time to appeal that decision to the state Supreme Court but hasn’t determined yet if it will, said Andrew Eisenzimmer, legal counsel for the archdiocese.
Keenan’s motion to release the two lists is up for hearing before Judge Johnson on Sept. 15.