Burlington Woman One of 8 to Receive Settlement from Seattle Archdiocese
By Jamie Tompkins
March 25, 2016
A Burlington woman is speaking out, no longer afraid to share a painful childhood secret of sexual abuse.
Mary Lynch says a priest named Father Michael Cody sexually molested her when she was 8 years old. She never told a soul, until a Sedro-Woolley woman came forward in May of 2015, accusing Cody of sexual abuse. The Archiodecese payed her $1.2 million to settle.
“I didn't think anybody else had been victimized by him because I’d never heard his name before,” says Mary.
With the help of her attorney, Michael Pfau, Mary, along with 7 other women, were awarded a settlement of over $9 million from the Seattle Archidiocese.
The archdiocese says Michael Cody abused all 8 girls between 1968 and 1974 at churches in Burlington, La Conner, Swinomish and Bellingham.
Archbishop Sartain saying in part, "I deeply regret the abuse by Michael Cody against these victims and I hope this monetary settlement and counseling we have provided will bring healing and give them a measure of closure."
"It’s never been about the money for me. It’s about them validating what happened to me and to admit they could have avoided this," says Mary.
Cody was defrocked in 2005 and died last year. Mary says she plans to work with SNAP to help other survivors of sexual abuse.