Investigators: Diocese Reaches Settlement in Abuse Case

KGPE [California]
August 24, 2006

There is an apparent settlement in a sex abuse case against the Diocese of Fresno.

The suit was filed by an unidentified woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest during her childhood.

According to sources, the woman will receive $875,000 part of her settlement with the Diocese.

Beginning in 2003, several cases were filed against the Diocese. At least six are still pending.

Many of them make disturbing allegations of sexual abuse and molestation against Valley priests.

One of those suits was filed by a woman who lived in Fresno in the 1960's. She claims a priest sexually abused her while she was pregnant and while she was a minor.

In her lawsuit, the woman says the abuse has caused serious pain and emotional distress.

Her case is set for trial here in Fresno in October.

In another case, a man named only as "John Doe" says he was molested as a child in the 1980's.

The suit alleges a priest sexually abused him when he was an altar boy at a church in Shafter, near Bakersfield.

As standard procedure, the Diocese of Fresno has asked a judge in Oakland to "throw out" that case. A dismissal hearing is scheduled for Friday.

CBS 47 contacted the Diocese of Fresno for a statement, but a representative responded by saying it is not their policy to not to comment on any litigation.


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