The Wall Street Journal: Diocese of Brooklyn settles sex-abuse case totalling $27.5 million

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Four men who claimed they were abused by a church worker as children will receive a total of $27.5 million as part of a settlement with the Diocese of Brooklyn, in what the victims’ lawyers say is among the largest U.S. awards paid to individual victims of Roman Catholic Church-related abuse.

The Diocese of Brooklyn and an after-school program will pay $27.5 million to settle lawsuits filed by four men who claimed they were abused by a church worker as children. The men each will receive $6.875 million, said lawyers Peter Saghir and Ben Rubinowitz, who represented the unnamed men. The money will largely be paid by the diocese, with a small portion coming from an unnamed after-school program.

“The thing that is atrocious about this is the signs that were missed by his supervisors,” Saghir said.  “There were clear warning signs.”

A spokeswoman for the diocese said it “highly contested its role in the sexual abuse of four adolescents.” The spokeswoman noted the man implicated in the case was a volunteer, not clergy or an employee of the diocese or parish. The diocese includes 1.5 million Catholics in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The settlement is the latest in multimillion-dollar payments Catholic dioceses across the country have made to victims in recent decades. In May, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis announced a $210 million settlement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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