April 20, 2005

Jury awards Pritchard abuse victims $6 million

The Mercury News

Jurors decided today that three men and a women who were molested in the 1970s by a popular pastor at St. Martin of Tours church in San Jose should receive $6 million in damages.

The amount fell short of the $15 million sought by the victims, who presented testimony and medical evidence that they suffered from depression, post-traumatic stress and other emotional difficulties as a result of being sexually abused by the late Rev. Joseph Pritchard when they were children.

But the $6 million was larger than previous settlements received by those abused by Pritchard -- and could set the standard for the multitude of other Bay Area priest abuse cases yet to come. The amount also far surpassed what attorneys for the Roman Catholic church had suggested: that each defendent was owed damages ranging from $80,000 to $420,000.

Posted by kshaw at April 20, 2005 06:24 PM