July 11, 2005

Archdiocese to pay $16 million

San Francisco Chronicle

Kelly St. John, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Archdiocese of San Francisco has agreed to pay $16 million to 12 people who were molested by a San Jose priest during the 1970s, a move that largely resolves one of Northern California's most notorious cases of clergy sexual abuse.

Attorneys announced the settlement for victims of the late Rev. Joseph Pritchard on Friday. A clergy abuse trial involving two of Pritchard's victims had been set to begin Monday in San Francisco Superior Court.

The settlement is similar to one reached last month with 10 other plaintiffs who said they were molested by Pritchard when he was a priest at St. Martin of Tours parish in San Jose.

"This brings to a close one of the worst chapters in San Francisco Archdiocese clergy abuse," said Rick Simons, a Hayward attorney who represented the plaintiffs. "With the exposure of Father Pritchard and his appalling history, we see hopefully a chapter that never gets reopened."

"No amount of money could give me back the things this man took away from me," said one of the plaintiffs, Dennis Kavenaugh, 47, of San Jose. "It wasn't about the money. It was about someone finally saying this happened, and what can we do to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Posted by kshaw at July 11, 2005 05:08 PM