MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday tossed out a clergy abuse lawsuit by a man whose case rested on a repressed memory claim, siding with a lower court's ruling that repressed memory is an unproven theory.
James Keenan sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, claiming that as a teenager he was sexually abused four times in 1980 or 1981 by Thomas Adamson, a priest who has since been defrocked.
Keenan brought his claim in 2006, well outside the state's six-year statute of limitations, but argued that it should be allowed because he repressed memories of the abuse. A district court rejected that claim, but the state Court of Appeals revived it last year.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with the district court, which found that studies claiming to have proven the existence of repressed memory "lacked foundational reliability."
Keenan, 45, of Savage, said he was disappointed in the ruling. He and his attorney, Jeffrey Anderson, said their main goal was to force the release of a list of 46 priests who may have committed abuse. Spokesmen for both the archdiocese and diocese had no immediate comment.
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