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San Diego church in 198 mln dlr payout to sex abuse victims
from The Raw Story
Entered into the database on Friday, September 07th, 2007 @ 22:35:01 MST


Untitled Document The Roman Catholic Church in San Diego will pay nearly 200 million dollars in damages to more than 100 victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, officials and lawyers said Friday.

Lawyers for dioceses of San Diego and San Bernardino and 144 victims of priest abuse thrashed out the 198.1-million-dollar settlement after protracted negotiations at the city's Federal Courthouse.

Each victim of abuse will receive an average of 1.3 million dollars, lawyers said after the announcement, making it one of the largest settlements by dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church since the sex-abuse scandal erupted in 2002.

The settlement comes after years of negotiations between victims and the Californian city's diocese. In February the church body filed for bankruptcy protection, arguing it was the best way to compensate victims in the case.

The diocese had previously offered to settle the case for 95 million dollars, but eventually agreed to more than twice the amount.

The settlement follows a record payout by the Los Angeles diocese of 660 million dollars to more than 500 victims of abuse by clergy in July, the biggest in US history.

Since the beginning of the abuse scandal five years ago, Catholic authorities have paid out close to 2.8 billion dollars in damages to victims.