Sexual Abuse Victims Settle with Diocese

By Stan Finger
Wichita Eagle
June 6, 2001

The Catholic Diocese of Wichita has reached financial settlements with more than one victim of former priest Robert K. Larson, its lawyer confirmed Tuesday.

Neither Karl Hesse, the diocese's lawyer, nor Corlin Pratt, who represented claimants in the proceeding, would provide details of the settlements.

"One or more parties in the Wichita Diocese have settled claims in a satisfactory manner and the parties agreed that the amount and the terms of their settlement are private and shall remain confidential," Pratt said in a prepared statement.

Hesse would not say where the money paid out by the diocese came from.

Larson pleaded guilty in February to four counts of sex crimes involving former altar boys at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Newton between 1984 and 1986. He was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.

Now 71, Larson is serving his sentence at the Norton Correctional Facility.

Two of the men whose allegations were the basis for the charges that led to Larson's prison sentence declined comment about the settlement.

Larson was removed from the pulpit in 1988 after 30 years of service in the diocese after the latest in a series of allegations of abuse.

The victims whose allegations led to Larson's conviction filed complaints after reading about allegations of abuse against Larson by several former altar boys in The Eagle in August.

Reach Stan Finger at 268-6437 or


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