April 17, 2006

Sex abuse cases heading for court


4/17/2006, 3:39 p.m. PT
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) After stopping a flood of priest sex abuse lawsuits with the first bankruptcy ever filed by a Roman Catholic diocese two years ago, nearly 130 cases are now heading for court.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris on Monday cleared the way for alleged victims of abuse to go to trial after waiting almost two years for a settlement with the Archdiocese of Portland.

The archdiocese and its creditors the alleged victims have both drafted settlement plans but have been unable to agree.

Monday was the deadline for deciding whether to go to court, and 88 victims chose to have their cases heard in federal court while nearly 40 are headed to state court, said Erin Olson, attorney for several alleged victims.

Nearly all the cases referred to state court resulted from alleged abuse by prison chaplains at the MacLaren School for Boys, the state facility for juvenile offenders, Olson said.

Posted by kshaw at April 17, 2006 07:01 PM