Catholic Order Pays $1m Settlement to 8 Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse Dating Back Decades
By J.D. Capelouto
July 17, 2018
A Catholic order has paid a total of $1 million to eight people who were sexually abused by two Catholic priests in the 1970s and early ’80s in Massachusetts, the victims’ lawyer said Tuesday.
One of the priests, John J. Gallagher, was the subject of a letter written in 1992 by one of the victims to the late Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who at the time headed the Archdiocese of Boston. The letter, released by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, graphically detailed abuse the woman experienced in Lawrence in the mid-’70s, and serves as further evidence that Law had knowledge of sexual abuse by Catholic priests before it was widely publicized.
Garabedian said negotiations with the Order of Saint Augustine have been ongoing outside of court for two years, with the settlement decided last month.
The eight victims — five men and three women — were abused by Gallagher and another priest in Reading and Lawrence. The men were abused by Father Robert Turnbull at Austin Preparatory School in Reading, while Gallagher abused the women at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Lawrence, Garabedian said. The victims were around 9 to 12 years old at the time.