April 21, 2005

$5.8M Sex Abuse Settlement

CBS News

SAN FRANCISCO, April 21, 2005

(AP) A jury Wednesday awarded nearly $5.8 million in damages to three men and a woman who were childhood victims of sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic priest.

The archdiocese acknowledged at the start of the trial that although church officials knew in the 1970s that the Rev. Joseph Pritchard had been accused of molesting young parishioners in San Jose, the church did not investigate the allegations and took no steps to protect the children.

As a result, the only question put to jurors in the two and a half week long trial was how much the plaintiffs should be compensated. The plaintiffs had sought $20 million; the archdiocese suggested $1 million.

"The church was forced to admit that molestation had been occurring and they should have known what was occurring," said Larry Drivon, an attorney representing one of the victims.

Posted by kshaw at April 21, 2005 04:40 AM