Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, 69, said in a deposition video released on Monday that he was uncertain if he knew sexually abusing a child was a crime when it was his job to investigate sexual abuse within the church. Carlson was an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis at the time of the alleged abuse, according to NBC.
A civil suit was recently filed by a man who claims he was abused by a reverend at a St. Paul church in the 1970s. The case alleges that church officials put children at risk, forcing depositions from Carlson and two other archbishops, though none of them face criminal charges.
Carlson was reportedly responsible for investigating sexual abuse at the church in the 70s, but when a clergy member admitted to sexually abusing a child he did not report it.
When asked, during a deposition, whether he had known that engaging in sex with a child was a crime, Carlson said: “I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it’s a crime.”
The Minnesota Star Tribune reported that when responding to questions about “how he handled the abuse cases, Carlson responded 193 times that he did not recall.”
The civil suit pending against the Twin Cities archdiocese will begin in September.Shannon McMahon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @shanmcmahon_.