May 26, 2005

Bennett victims accept diocese offer

CANADA
CBC

WebPosted May 26 2005 08:01 AM NDT
CBC News

CORNER BROOK The victims of Father Kevin Bennett have accepted a $13-million compensation offer from the Roman Catholic diocese of St. George's.

Bennett was convicted in 1990 of molesting 36 boys while he served in parishes in the diocese.

Kevin Bennett was convicted in 1990 of sexually abusing 36 boys in parishes where he had served.

The victims fought their case for compensation to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The package involves 39 men, including two additional victims of Bennett and a man who had been molested by one other priest.

Greg Stack, the lawyer who represents most of the sexual-abuse victims, says his clients really had only two choices: accept the offer or let the diocese go into bankruptcy.

"None of the victims [is] jumping up and down with joy but certainly everyone hopes that this is going to be the end of it, and hopes the debts will be retired in an orderly fashion," Stack says.

"It was accepted, because the alternative is probably a little bit worse in terms of time. The time limits of payments would be delayed a year or two The complexity and the administrative costs would be a lot, [and] that would consume a lot more of the funds."

Posted by kshaw at May 26, 2005 07:29 AM