Friday, January 26, 2007

And now Charleston

My home diocese. From an AP story in The State:
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston announced Friday it will settle child sex abuse claims in South Carolina, designating as much as $12 million for damages.

"It is my fervent hope that this settlement will allow us, as the Catholic community of faith in South Carolina, to bring closure to an ugly period in our history," Bishop Robert Baker said.

The class-action settlement has been given initial approval by a state judge, said Larry Richter, an attorney for four victims whose claims were settled last summer.

Peter Shahid Jr., an attorney representing the diocese, said the church knows of at least eight other victims although others may come forward.

Under the settlement, abuse victims could get anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 while spouses and parents would receive $20,000.

Since 1950, there have been 50 abuse claims involving 28 clergy or others diocesan employees settled for almost $3 million, Shahid said. Those claims were not apart of the new settlement.

Richter, himself a Roman Catholic, said it is unclear how many other victims may come forward.
The Diocesan page with pdfs of statements and details. (if the page looks a little sparse, because the Diocesan webpage has this stupid oh-so-90s frames structure. And why .pdfs? Oh anyway.)

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