February 16, 2005

Behind the $5M sex abuse settlement

Daily Record

By Abbott Koloff, Daily Record

MORRISTOWN -- Some of the men had been together three years, ever since they held their first meeting in Mendham and talked about childhood memories that had been secret for decades. They told the world they had been sexually abused decades ago by their former pastor. They met with the bishop. They started a support group.

After one of them committed suicide, they put up a monument at their old church, a millstone that sits on the property of St. Joseph's parish.

On Tuesday they reached a milestone when they stood on the steps of the Morris County Courthouse and announced the formal settlement of a lawsuit against the Paterson Roman Catholic Diocese. The suit had been settled earlier in the month and the settlement amount, an estimated $5 million split among 27 people, had been reported by plaintiffs last week.

Most of the plaintiffs said they were abused by James Hanley, a former St. Joseph's pastor, although some had been abused by other priests and a deacon.

Posted by kshaw at February 16, 2005 04:28 AM