Verdicts & Settlements
Priest Abuse Settlement Before Judge
Posted Jul 16, 2007 8:00 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles will present a record $660 million settlement of sexual abuse claims to a judge for approval today.
The settlement with 508 sexual abuse victims came just two days before a scheduled trial, the New York Times reports. Settlement negotiations in the case had spanned more than four years.
As part of the agreement, the archdiocese will give its internal files on the abusers to a retired judge who will decide what information may be released, the Los Angeles Times reports.
David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, told the Los Angeles Times he believes Cardinal Roger Mahony settled to avoid testifying.
"He avoided the No. 1 thing he fears, which is disclosing under oath how much he knew and how little he did about predatory priests," Clohessy said.
In a separate story, the Los Angeles Times points out that the archdiocese faced possible punitive damages in the case.
Yesterday, Mahony apologized for “this terrible sin and crime” by abusive priests. He said he told victims, "Your life, I wish were like a VHS tape, we could put the tape in … and delete these years of difficulty and misery."