In extraordinary testimony last month, Archbishop Robert Carlson said he was unsure about whether he knew it was a crime for an adult to have sex with a child.
Carlson, the head of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, was deposed for a case regarding sex abuse allegations that took place when he was auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1979 until 1994. He investigated those allegations during his time in Minnesota.
During the deposition, which was released Monday, attorney Jeff Anderson asked Carlson if he “knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid.”
“I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson said. “I understand today it’s a crime.”
Carlson said he doesn’t recall when he first discerned that it is a crime, but documents released Monday from the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates in St. Paul tell a different story.
A 1984 document, reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, showed Carlson’s correspondence with the former archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis about one particular victim. Carlson wrote that the victim’s parents were thinking about notifying the police.
He said later in the deposition that while he never personally reported any of the allegations, he encouraged parents to take action at least once.