A day following the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese release of a list of names of 11 priests who abused children, KELOLAND Investigates is looking back at the history of the priest sex abuse problem in Sioux Falls.
Our requests for an interview with current Bishop Paul Swain on the release of this list of priest was denied.
In 2002, more than a dozen new cases of accused sexual misconduct surfaced against former Sioux Falls priests. At that time Bishop Robert Carlson did grant KELOLAND News an interview.
Robert Carlson is now an Archbishop of St. Louis where he has been lauded for his transparency when it comes to the church’s dealings with abusive priests. He’s given Missouri’s attorney general access to the church’s policies and procedures.
He reportedly did the same in South Dakota when he was bishop in Sioux Falls after the 2002 sex-abuse crisis.
“I think with the policies we have in place and those we’re going to add, I think we’ll be on top of it and will be handled in a way people will be happy with and at the same time can trust the good priests who are out there, because obviously the reputation of all of us is on the line,“ Bishop Robert Carlson said in a KELOLAND News Interview on May 8, 2002.
The Bishop revealed in 2003 that 38 people had accused 16 different priests of sex abuse over the previous 53 years.
In 2014, Carlson testified in a sexual abuse lawsuit in Minnesota. Carlson admitted he didn’t turn Reverend Thomas Adamson in to police after Adamson admitted to him he had abused a child in 1984.
Attorney Jeff Anderson: Archbishop, you knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid?
Carlson: I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not, I understand today it’s a crime.
Carlson’s statement received national attention.
Carlson later went on to say that his statement from the 2014 Minnesota deposition was taken out of context and that he was responding to a specific point of Minnesota mandatory reporting law, not the act of abuse itself when he said, “I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it’s a crime.“
We’ve told you that the list of abusive priests put out by the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese Thursday had 11 names on it.
KELOLAND Investigates has been doing more checking and the watchdog group Bishop Accountability has 24 names of clergy accused of abuse for Sioux Falls listed, but only two of those – William Neuroth and Bruce MacArthur- were included on the list just released by the Diocese of Sioux Falls.
The names not on the diocese list are mostly from religious orders, including seven nuns and eight brothers who worked on South Dakota Indian reservations, including the Tekakwitha Indian Mission in Sisseton and St. Francis Indian School at Rosebud.
MacArthur was the only one convicted of a crime on that list. The rest were all sued in civil court.