Archive for Monday, November 19, 2007

Religious order settles abuse case for $50M

November 19, 2007

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— A Roman Catholic religious order has agreed to pay $50 million to more than 100 Alaska Natives who allege sexual abuse by Jesuit priests, a lawyer for the accusers said Sunday.

The settlement with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus is the largest one yet against a Catholic religious order, said Anchorage lawyer Ken Roosa, who called it "a great day" for the 110 victims.

"These are people who were altar boys and altar servers and altar girls," Roosa said. "These are people who tried to tell their story and in many instances were beaten or told to shut up and told, 'How can you say such things about a man of God?"'

The settlement does not require the order to admit fault, Roosa said. None of the priests was ever criminally charged.

The sexual abuse allegations involved 13 or 14 clerics and spanned nearly 30 years, from 1961 to 1987, Roosa said. The children's ages ranged from 5 years to teenage.

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