Priests named in Winona sex abuse case - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Priests named in Winona sex abuse case


WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- "Almost half the churches here at the diocese in Winona had a perpetrator at their parish," said Michael Finnegan, the attorney on the case of sex abuse at several diocese in Minnesota. 

A list of 14 men accused of sexually abusing children has been released by the Diocese of Winona. The total list of 14, includes recently charged Leo Koppala. Nine priests on the list are dead, five are still living.

One of those priests, Thomas P. Adamson, has been removed from priesthood but still lives in Rochester.

"Any time that he's around kids and has access to kids makes me concerned," Finnegan said.
Adamson was assigned to Lourdes High School in 1962 and 1964 and several churches in the region and according to court documents, admitted to molesting several children.

Not pictured is Joseph C. Cashman, who now lives in Dallas and is in the process of being removed from the church. He served at Lourdes High School and several local churches from 1963 to 1985.

At a press conference Monday, the lawyer says this is just the beginning. 

"When these lists come out, there are often grossly underreported. And so this list of 13 probably actually represents a fraction of the number of people," he said.

And although names were released, the "where's" and "when's" are under lock and key. 

"They're required under their own law to keep documents on each one of these perpetrators, So they have separate files on each one of these 13 perpetrators," said Finnegan. 

The Diocese of Winona released a statement today saying,  "Over the past few decades, a number of clergy members in the Diocese of Winona sadly have been accused of violating the sacred trust placed in them by children, youth and families and were accused of detestable crimes of sexual abuse. For this, I am truly sorry."

Finnegan says he hopes that as potentially more victims come forward, it will provide an opportunity for healing, and put pressure on the diocese for answers.

"We will take archbishop Neinstedt's deposition, have him under oath, and ask him the hard questions that he's not letting anyone ask," he said. 

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