According to attorney Jeffrey Anderson, Commonweal, and other media outlets, the transcript of the exchange between Anderson and Archbishop Carlson revealed that the archbishop did not know it was a crime for an adult to have sex with a child. They are all wrong.

Prior to the controversial exchange (which began with a question regarding mandatory reporting laws—see pp. 108-09 of the transcript), Anderson asked Carlson several questions about Tom Adamson (a homosexual priest who had sex with teenage males). Carlson said, “I remember he was accused of sexual abuse. That’s the trial I participated in.” (See p. 34.) Having said as much, it is simply impossible to believe that Carlson did not know it was against the law for an adult to have sex with a minor.

Anderson also asked, “And you also knew when first degree criminal sexual conduct is written and recorded, that is the most serious of the sex crimes against a child. You know that?” To which Carlson said, “Correct.” (See pp. 98-99.) This is further proof that Carlson knew what the law was; this was also said prior to the controversial exchange.

After the exchange in question, Anderson asked Carlson, “But you knew a priest touching the genitals of a kid to be a crime; did you not?” Carlson answered, “Yes.” (See p. 145.)

Further exculpatory proof can be found on pp. 17, 23, 34, 74, 113, 114, 115, and 132. On eight different occasions Carlson restated to Anderson that he told relatives of the victims to go to the police. He wouldn’t have done so unless he knew a crime may have been committed.

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