Thursday, March 14, 2013

Clergy sex abuse settlements top $2.5 billion nationwide. By Cathy Lynn Grossman

There have been nearly 17,000 victims of clergy sexual abuse since 1950 and legal settlements for their suffering continue to climb.
Survivor Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, Calif., holds photos of defrocked priest Michael Baker outside the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has announced a $10 million settlement with four Baker victims, raising their total to nearly $700 million in overall settlements to victims to date.

Add another $10 million to the $2.5 billion that the Catholic Church in the USA has spent in confronting the clergy sex abuse crisis.

The settlement announced in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Tuesday notched up their tally to nearly $700 million in settlements to victims alone, not even adding in the costs of therapy, attorneys' fees and more. Four men abused a quarter century ago by a now-defrocked priest will divide $10 million, the archdiocese said. 

In 2007, the archdiocese, the nation's largest, announced more than $660 million in settlements to 508 victims. That far surpassed the $84 million settlement record then held by Boston, epicenter of the scandal that exploded in the U.S. church in 2002.

Since then, the abuse scandal has driven up some horrifying statistics. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection and independent studies commissioned by the bishops, the latest tallies as of 2012 were:

• More than 6,905 accused priests since 1950.

• More than 16,463 victims identified to date, although there is no national database.

• $2.5 billion in settlements and therapy bills for victims, attorneys fees and costs to care for priests pulled out of ministry from 2004 to 2011.

The new Los Angeles settlement will be split among four men who were abused two decades ago by now-defrocked priest Michael Baker. He was convicted in 2007 of child molestation and paroled in 2011 ... ► Read the full story by Cathy Lynn Grossman in USA Today

Source: USA Today

Author: Cathy Lynn Grossman covers USA Today breaking news, religion, ethics and spirituality and formerly hosted the Faith Reason blog ... more

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