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$50 Million Settlement in Alaskan Priest Sex Abuse Case

The Jesuit order of Roman Catholic priests agreed to a $50 million settlement with 110 Eskimo victims of alleged sexual abuse. Twelve priests and three missionaries were accused of sexually abusing Eskimo children in 15 villages and the city of Nome from 1961 to 1987.

Ken Roosa, the plantiffs’ attorney, said his clients ranged in age from about 5 to 16 when they were abused and that the abuse occurred in remote villages along the coast of Western Alaska and along the Yukon River. “In some villages, it is difficult to find an adult who was not sexually violated by men who used religion and power (to abuse and silence children),” Roosa said, reports the Seattle Times, “For our clients, this settlement represents a long overdue acknowledgment of the truth of their stories of abuse.”

Roosa announced the settlement on Sunday. Attorneys for the Jesuits, however, are not yet confirming the settlement, saying there were “still many issues that need to be finalized,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

Sources:

Los Angeles Times 11/19/07; Seattle Times 11/19/07

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