Diocese of Winona Named As Defendant in Sex Abuse Lawsuit
August 29, 2013
[Statement from the diocese]
[Minnesota map of Adamson's assignments]
[10-26-02 letter Hoeppner to Beardmore]
[11-6-02 letter Beardmore to Hoeppner]
[1-30-03 letter Hoeppner to Beardmore]
[Photo of client as a 7th grader]
The Diocese of Winona has been named as a defendant in a sex abuse lawsuit involving a former alter boy from Caledonia. The former altar boy, Bill Beardmore, joined his attorney outside the Olmsted County Government Center Thursday afternoon to announce the lawsuit.
They say the Diocese of Winona is named as a defendant because it continued to allow Father Thomas Adamson to have access to children despite reports of inappropriate sexual behavior with young boys. The suit claims Beardmore, who is now 61 and lives in Iowa, attended church at St. John's Parish in Caledonia. He says he was 12 years old when Father Adamson raped him in the early 1960s.
His attorney, Jeff Anderson, also wants the Diocese to release a list of 13 priests he says were accused of sexually molesting minors. He says the Diocese has yet to release those names to the public.
The Diocese of Winona released a statement this afternoon, of portion of which reads, "The Diocese of Winona is committed to the protection and safety of children and young people in its care. Sexual abuse of any human being is an unacceptable and horrendous offense. The Diocese of Winona has removed all priests who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct of a minor from active ministry and many of the priests who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct of a minor in the past are deceased."