April 28, 2005

Church settles 4 cases

Concord Monitor

Monitor staff

April 28. 2005 8:00AM

The Diocese of Manchester has settled new sexual abuse complaints against three of its priests for allegations dating back to the 1950s and 1970s. Two of the three priests - Monsignor John Boyd and the Rev. Gerard Beaudet - have not been previously accused. The third, the Rev. Romeo Valliere, has.

Concord lawyer Chuck Douglas settled the claims on behalf of four people, two women and two men. He declined to be specific about how much the diocese paid the four, saying only that the total "ranged up to and over six figures." In the two and a half years since the clergy sexual abuse scandal broke, Douglas has represented about 30 alleged victims. He said this recent round of negotiations was a bit different.

First, the diocese has hired a former federal agent experienced in child sexual abuse to investigate the complaints against priests. Diocesan staff had handled those investigations in the past. Secondly, the diocese told Douglas this time that it has much less money to pay out now than it did in 2002, when it settled claims from 78 alleged victims for nearly $6 million.

"They are very clear that they cannot pay the numbers they were paying," Douglas said. "They said they just can't do it, and I confirmed that (they can't) through other sources."

Posted by kshaw at April 28, 2005 09:26 AM