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  Seattle Archdiocese Settles for $1.7 Million in 4 Abuse Cases

By Susan Gilmore
Seattle Times
June 10, 2005

The Seattle Archdiocese has settled four more cases of alleged abuse by Catholic priests. The new settlements, which total $1.7 million, involve two men and two women who said they were molested by two priests, Gerald Moffat and Edmund Boyle.

One of the settlements involved Jeff Alfieri, who committed suicide in 2003 in the parking lot of Holy Family Church in Kirkland, where the alleged abuse occurred.

Alfieri claimed Moffat molested him in the early 1970s while Moffat was assigned to Holy Family as a priest. Alfieri said the priest molested him during church-related trips when Alfieri was 11 to 13 years old.

Moffat had been placed on administrative leave when the allegations surfaced and is no longer in the Catholic ministry. The settlement in Alfieri's case was $600,000.

The second settlement involved three siblings, two girls and a boy, identified only by their initials, who said they were abused as children in the 1950s by Boyle who was working in the St. James Church and School they attended. The settlement in the case was $1.1 million.

Boyle has since died. Other abuse claims against him are still pending.

"What happened to these people altered their lives forever," said James S. Rogers, attorney for the four. "It took courage for these people to come forward."

Greg Magnoni, spokesman for the archdiocese, said the church is working to reach settlements with the victims and their families.

"This is the best way to provide for their needs and fulfill our obligation for pastoral outreach," he said.

The fact that the church settled the cases "speaks for itself," Magnoni said. "That's our goal in each and every one of the cases."

He said the money will be paid by the archdiocese's insurance carrier.

The archdiocese has paid millions of dollars to about 190 people, said Michael Patterson, an attorney for the archdiocese. That includes a $7.87 million settlement reached in September 2003 with 15 men who said they'd been molested by the Rev. James McGreal when they were children.

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or sgilmore@seattletimes.com

 
 

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