Twin Cities Archdiocese Releases Details on Two Abusive Priests

StarTribune: Newly released church documents involving clergy working in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis describe one priest allegedly sexually abusing a brain-injured woman and another abusing a teenage boy who killed himself and his wife years later in a murder-suicide.

The new details were revealed in a statement by the archdiocese late Monday as part of a lawsuit that is also compelling Archbishop John Nienstedt to testify under oath Wednesday about decades’ worth of alleged abuse.

The archdiocese was ordered by a judge to disclose tens of thousands of pages of documents on about 40 priests who had been credibly accused of abusing children from 1970 to the present as part of a lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court. The documents, which were not made public, are designed to help attorneys prepare for a four-hour deposition of Nienstedt on Wednesday at an undisclosed St. Paul location and an April 16 deposition of former Vicar General Kevin McDonough.

“We’re still in the process of poring through these things,” said attorney Mike Finnegan, who is representing a victim — referred to as John Doe 1 — who has sued the archdiocese, the Diocese of Winona, and former priest Tom Adamson, who allegedly abused Finnegan’s client in the 1970s.

Among the documents released Monday to Finnegan and colleague Jeff Anderson were details about the Rev. Paul Palmitessa, who ministered in Minnesota for 26 years before relocating to San Diego in 1982, the same year the Goodhue County attorney’s office declined to charge him for allegedly making sexual advances toward a 15-year-old boy.