February 16, 2005

Deal concludes Paterson clergy sex-abuse suit

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Wayne Parry
Associated Press

MORRISTOWN, N.J. - Twenty-six men who said they were molested as boys by Roman Catholic priests have reached a $5 million settlement with the Diocese of Paterson, their lawyer announced yesterday.

The deal, the largest payout by a New Jersey diocese in a clergy sex-abuse case, also provides four years of counseling for the men, said the lawyer, Gregory G. Gianforcaro. The church does not admit liability as part of the pact.

"This has been an incredible journey of pain and sacrifice," Gianforcaro said, adding that a 27th man not party to this suit also had settled.

Standing with four of his clients at the Morris County Courthouse, the lawyer thanked the new leader of the diocese, Bishop Arthur Serratelli, for taking steps that led to the settlement.

"I am convinced that he is a kind and compassionate man who is trying to assist the victims in their healing," Gianforcaro said.

Posted by kshaw at February 16, 2005 03:55 AM