October 31, 2005

Hartford diocese to settle abuse cases for $22 mln


BOSTON (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, has agreed to pay $22 million to settle 43 cases of sexual abuse of children by priests from the 1960s to about 1985, lawyers and the church said on Monday.

The settlement was concluded last week after two years of mediation by U.S. Magistrate Judge William Garfinkel, who helped abuse victims and the Church reach similar settlements in 2001 and 2003, plaintiffs' lawyer Jason Tremont said.

Fourteen priests were accused of committing sexual abuse ranging from rape to fondling at the Archdiocese of Hartford, mostly while John Francis Whealon was archbishop between 1968 and 1991, said Tremont, who represented 15 of the victims.

The U.S. Catholic Church has faced hundreds of lawsuits in involving priests charged with pedophilia since the national scandal first erupted in Massachusetts in 2002 and then spread to other U.S. dioceses.

Posted by kshaw at October 31, 2005 04:32 PM