April 20, 2006

Diocese settles priest abuse case for $965,000

Burlington Free Press

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2006
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The state's Roman Catholic diocese avoided a trial Wednesday on allegations it let a priest with a history of child abuse continue to molest altar boys in Burlington, settling a lawsuit brought by one of the victims for $965,000.

The settlement of claims involving conduct by former Rev. Edward Paquette was announced in Chittenden Superior Court, where the trial in the case brought by Michael Gay, 38, of South Burlington was to get under way Wednesday morning.

"He took away something that was very important to me," Gay said of Paquette after the announcement, dabbing his eyes as sat in a chair in the courtroom. "He took away something very important to me -- my childhood, my faith in God and religion."

Gay agreed to permit The Burlington Free Press to publish his name. The Free Press does not disclose the names of alleged victims of sexual abuse without their consent.

Posted by kshaw at April 20, 2006 07:03 AM