February 22, 2006

Dubuque Archdiocese pays $5 million to settle 20 sex abuse cases

Sioux City Journal

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque has agreed to pay $5 million to settle 20 cases of sexual abuse alleged against nine priests over the past five decades, church officials said Tuesday.

The settlement was reached during mediation just weeks before the first of several trials were scheduled to begin in state and federal courts.

The archdiocese also agreed to publish the names of the nine accused priests, give each victim the chance to meet privately with archbishop Jerome Hanus and the opportunity to speak about their ordeal in their home parish.

Victims praised the deal as an end to more than 50 years of silence and careless handling of priests who molested young boys and girls in churches and schools across northeast Iowa.

"I feel very liberated today," said Debbie Gindhart, 57, who now lives in Indianapolis but was molested by a priest growing up in Waterloo.

Posted by kshaw at February 22, 2006 09:07 AM