Plaintiffs Receive Settlement Checks in Sexual Abuse Case
August 26, 2006
Dozens of sexual abuse lawsuits filed against an order of catholic nuns based in Nelson County settled Thursday night.
By Saturday, checks arrived for 45 people who said they were abused as children by nuns at the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
It was announced that the order of nuns will pay $1.5 million to settle allegations of sexual abuse at the old St. Thomas-St. Vincent orphanage in Anchorage.
As children back in the 1950's, the victims said their memory of days at the orphanage include beatings by nuns, boys sodomized. One plaintiff, Gail Ann Miller, said she remembers being raped at the hands of a priest.
The checks were for a little under $20,000 each, but according to victim Gladys Bambron, the real value is a feeling of vindication.
The priest in question, Father Herman Lammers died years ago as have the nuns.
In reaching the deal, the Sisters of Charity stopped short of admitting guilt, but attorney William McMurry said it doesn't matter.
McMurray is the same man who won a $25 million settlement against the Louisville archdiocese for over 200 other victims of church abuse a few years ago. He said the latest settlement closes a painful chapter in the lives of 45 people, onetime orphans, robbed of their childhoods.
Many of the plaintiffs say they were abused by father Lammers of the orphanage who died in 1986.
The plaintiffs say the incidents happened as late as the 1970's, and as early as the 1930's.
Part of the settlement says the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth do not acknowledge wrongdoing.
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