Merryfield Brothers Speak out after Settlement with Gb Catholic Diocese
By Heather Sawaski
We Are Green Bay
March 22, 2013
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - After reaching a settlement in their case against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, two brothers molested by a catholic priest in 1978 are speaking out.
Todd and Troy Merryfield were sexually abused as children by former priest John Feeney while he served at their Freedom church. They said at a news conference Friday afternoon, while they're glad their fight is over, they're still not satisfied.
The brothers said they settled for the exact same amount a jury initially awarded them at trial last June, which was around $700,000. That verdict was overturned after a judge found one of the jurors to be impartial.
Despite the settlement, the brothers are still seeking an apology from the diocese for what they allege was a cover up of Feeney's actions. They're also challenging Bishop David Ricken and others to release documents they say exist with names of other priest's who are known to have abused children.
"As for settling, it was kind of, the judge was inserting herself to settle before it went to a retrial," Troy Merryfield explained. "So it was pushed. We finally said okay if you will agree to the jury award which validates what the jury said, we'll settle, end it."
"The reality is, we're both tired," Todd Merryfield said. "We've been going this long. If we would have gone for another trial, then we would have been playing the appeals game because they are not going to accept what is handed to them and if that verdict was returned to them, guaranteed it was going to show up before the Supreme Court. We've got lives."
The Green Bay Catholic Diocese is not commenting on camera on this case, but in a statement, the diocese said Bishop Ricken has reached out to the brothers and hopes to meet with them personally.
Feeney served eight years in prison for assaulting the brothers after being convicted in 2004 He was removed from the priesthood in 2005.