BOSTON (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston will pay between $15 million and $30
million to scores of people to settle claims that a priest sexually abused them when they were children,
the victims' lawyer said on Tuesday.
While the settlement closes the book on most civil suits pending against defrocked priest John
Geoghan, the diocese faces new claims by as many as 200 plaintiffs who have come forward since
January and accused Geoghan and other Boston-area priests of sexually abusing them.
"This isn't happy money, this is blood money," said Mitchell Garabedian, who represented the 86
plaintiffs covered in Tuesday's settlement.
Garabedian said he still represents plaintiffs in 27 suits against the Boston Archdiocese and expected
more suits to surface.
"This obviously will not put the issue involving the archdiocese and child abuse and sex abuse by
priests to an end," he said. "It's just the beginning. The investigations have to continue and sex abuse
by priests must be uncovered."
In a statement, Boston Cardinal Bernard Law said the settlement was a positive development for all
"This settlement is an important step in reaching closure for these victims who have long endured the
damage done to them by John Geoghan," the statement said.
Since the accusations against Geoghan first came to light, dioceses in California, Maine, New Hampshire
and Pennsylvania have suspended priests over allegations they molested children. In Palm Beach,
Florida, Bishop Anthony O'Connell resigned last week after admitting he had had inappropriate contact
with a teenager 27 years ago.
GEOGHAN ALREADY IN PRISON
Geoghan is already serving a nine-to-10 year prison sentence for fondling a child and faces at least one
more criminal trial stemming from allegations by about 130 people that he molested them during his more
than 30 years as a priest. A judge last week threw out two charges of child rape against Geoghan.
The scandal has severely hurt the credibility of Law, the senior U.S. prelate, who along with other
church leaders knew about Geoghan's history of sexually abusing children while they shuttled him from
parish to parish in the 1980s and 1990s.
Law said he hoped the settlement could help restore confidence in the diocese's hierarchy.
"Today is a step in the right direction to restore the trust and confidence that has been damaged and
provide the necessary support to bring about unity not division," his statement said.
In the aftermath of the revelations about Geoghan, the Boston diocese has handed over to police the
names of more than 80 priests accused of abuse over the last 50 years.
In the agreement, each plaintiff was assigned a range of damages depending on the seriousness of the
accusation. The final amount paid to each victim will be negotiated in a two-hour meeting with
arbitrators, Garabedian said.
Garabedian was flanked by four of the plaintiffs, who said they were relieved the deal was struck, but
also still struggling with the effects of the abuse.
BOSTON- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston will
pay between $15 million and $30 million to scores of people
to settle claims that a priest sexually abused them when they
were children, the victims' lawyer said on Tuesday.
While the settlement closes the book on most civil suits
pending against defrocked priest John Geoghan, the diocese
faces new claims by as many as 200 plaintiffs who have come
forward since January and accused Geoghan and other
Boston-area priests of sexually abusing them.
Alleged abuse victim Patrick
McSorley (L) faces the media as
his lawyer Mitchell Garabedian
(R) looks on in Boston, March
Clergy Abuse Support | Story Albany | Albany Blue Ribbon Panel | Geoghan Finally sentenced | News Stories involving
Priests | About this Site | Studies on Priests Molesting Children | Settlement | widespread abuse | Albany Diocese
refuses info | Convicted and accused Priests | Extending the statute of limitations | Priests protected more than victims