Attorneys: Settlement halt revictimizes alleged victims


Updated: Monday, April 28 2014

By: Maria Miller

ALTOONA, Pa. — It’s a story 6 News first reported on Friday: Negotiations set to begin between the church and alleged victims of a former trainer at Bishop McCort Catholic High School have been postponed.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown , only commenting through a statement, said it wouldn’t be right to start civil matters before a criminal investigation by the attorney general’s office is complete.

The decision is not sitting well with alleged victims and their attorneys. Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents 33 of Brother Stephen Baker’s alleged victims, said his clients are being revictimized by the diocese’ decision. He said they were willing and ready to mediate this week, but are now left with no choice but to file suit.

“Why on the eve of the mediations would they all of a sudden say, ‘oh we’ve changed our minds, we’re not going to proceed?'” said Garabedian.

In a statement, the diocese said “It would be inappropriate for (them) to proceed with the civil matters while the attorney general’s investigation is active.”

Garabedian is all for that investigation but said the diocese shouldn’t have used it as an excuse when it’s known about it for at least three months.

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