Here's the story: L.A. Archdiocese to settle suits for $660 million
Here's a quote:
The nation’s largest Catholic archdiocese will settle its clergy sex abuse cases for at least $600 million, by far the largest payout in the church’s sexual abuse scandal, The Associated Press learned Saturday.
Attorneys for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the plaintiffs will release a statement Sunday morning and hold a news conference Monday, said Ray Boucher, the lead plaintiff’s attorney.
An anonymous source with knowledge of the deal placed its value at $660 million, by far the largest payout in the church’s sexual abuse scandal. The amount exceeded earlier reports from sources that the settlement would be between $600 million and $650 million — $1.2 million and $1.3 million per plaintiff.
This part was particularly interesting:
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge overseeing the cases recently ruled that Mahony could be called to testify in the second trial on schedule, and attorneys for plaintiffs wanted to call him in many more.
The same judge also cleared the way for four people to seek punitive damages — something that could have opened the church to tens of millions of dollars in payouts if the ruling had been expanded to other cases.
The first trial was supposed to begin on Monday.
Has Cardinal Mahony again lived up to his nickname, "Roger the Dodger"?
I'm of the mind that settlements should be made on a case by case basis, and only after releasing all records pertinent to those cases so as to prevent people from taking advantage of the Church by making false allegations against priests and religious.
I'm not saying I don't believe that priests and religious have been guilty of sexual abuse, but I will say that it is not impossible or unheard of for individuals to make false allegations.
I will also go so far as saying that I am aware of some settlements where the abused minor consented to the abuse. In those cases, although the adults in question were guilty of doing something unbelievably wrong, and the teens in question were victims – they weren't innocent victims. They were the victims of what is technically statutory rape. That's not to say the abusing adults weren't more responsible, and it certainly isn't meant to diminish the understanding that what was done was unspeakably evil, but I have to admit that some part of me is troubled by people profiting from consensual, sinful acts.
I'm also saddened by the idea that any number of millions of dollars would be considered worth ending further investigation into what appears to be criminal activity and conspiracy on the part of some Church leaders.
My heart goes out to victims of sexual abuse, and the last thing I would want anyone to think of someone making such a claim was that they were willing to let evil men get away with evil things if the price was right. That, in my opinion, makes such people victims all over again, because the perpetrators get off too easy, and the victims' motives and claims can continue to be challenged.