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Miami Archdiocese Releases Report on Priest Sex Abuse

The Archdiocese of Miami, Florida released a report this weekend revealing that 38 of its priests have been accused of sexual misconduct in the past 45 years. The report also shows that insurers for the archdiocese have paid $9.3 million in settlement fees and legal costs in relation to priest sex abuse claims since 1966, the Miami Herald reports. However, lawyer Sheldon Stevens, who represented plaintiffs in three cases against the Archdiocese of Miami, said, “Based upon the history of the behavior of the victims, many of the abuses are not reported … The number reported by the archdiocese actually only represents a percentage of the priests who engaged in that kind of conduct,” according to the Herald.

The Miami archdiocese is one of 195 US dioceses participating in a study by the John Jay School of Criminal Justice commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to the Associated Press. Miami is currently facing 30 sex-abuse lawsuits involving 16 priests, the Herald reports. Two Miami-Dade County priests were recently suspended based on separate allegations of sexual misconduct, according to the Herald.

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Sources:

Miami Herald 12/15/03, 12/8/03; Associated Press 12/15/03