February 10, 2005

$5 million settlement nears completion for 27 who claimed priest abuse

New York Newsday

Associated Press Writer

February 10, 2005, 2:45 PM EST

NEWARK, N.J. -- A $5 million settlement for 27 men who claimed they were molested by Roman Catholic priests could be completed by early next week, according to a person involved in the case.

If the settlement is signed by all the plaintiffs, the sum would be the largest payout by a New Jersey diocese in a clergy sex abuse case. The deal with the Diocese of Paterson also would provide four years of counseling for the men, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Most of the men claimed they were violated as boys from 1968 to 1982 by James Hanley, who served at three northern New Jersey parishes. He was removed from the priesthood in 2002, 17 years after church officials learned of complaints against him.

The lawsuit filed by the men 13 months ago claimed that church officials, including former Bishop Frank Rodimer, failed to take action to protect the youths.

Posted by kshaw at February 10, 2005 07:16 PM