Settlements Reached in 4 Sex-Abuse Suits

The Guardian
November 14, 2006,,-6214407,00.html

Denver (AP) - Four men have agreed to settle sexual-abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver for $100,000 to $150,000 each after going through mediation, attorneys and church officials said.

Church officials confirmed the settlements Monday but would not discuss details. The men's attorney, Jeff Herman of Miami, provided the amounts of the settlement.

"Mediation provided a venue to try to get some closure and they obviously felt this was the right decision for them," Herman said.

The four were among 30 people who sued the archdiocese claiming they were sexually abused by former priest Harold Robert White or the late Rev. Leonard Abercrombie. In his only public comment on the claims, White has said the allegations contained "half truths."

In May, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced the mediation offer, hiring a former state district judge as a mediator and committing a "very large" but undisclosed sum for settlements.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Jeanette DeMelo said some cases are still in mediation. Some lawsuits are under way in Denver District Court, and the archdiocese has filed motions to dismiss them, arguing the statute of limitations has expired.

Herman said some of his clients stopped mediation because they want the church to open its records pertaining to White and Abercrombie.


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