Settlement Gives Abuse Victim Peace of Mind

April 21, 2006

Louisville, Ky. - "I don't foresee this same scenario playing out in a church or other organization."

Kyle Burden's memory won't fade, but he hopes his $300,000 settlement says a ton.

"It was about making the church, holding them accountable, not just to compensate people but What they did was wrong, and that's why we stuck to our guns through the whole process," he says.

Nearly three years ago, the Archdiocese of Louisville settled 240 lawsuits as part of a class action. Kyle Burden's wasn't one of them. He went alone, two decades after a meeting with his reverend at St. Rita's Catholic Church.

Burden's incident with Daniel Clark came during the late spring of 1982 when he was 12 years old.

During a game, Burden took a softball to his nose. Reverend Clark drove him home.

"We went to my mother's, we went to the basement, he told me to hold my head back, pulled my shorts, and proceeded to fondle me in my mother's basement."

Stunned, Burden pulled away.

"He said, 'Don't tell anybody, keep ice on your nose.' Then he walked out of the basement."

Burden says the church knew, but did nothing. Daniel Clark is behind bars, serving part of a 10-year sentence for sexual abuse of two other boys.

Burden won't soon forget what happened, and hopes neither does the church.

"I think even the victim of any priest or any religious figure molested should be proud when bringing to light and say you gotta problem, you need to do something about it, and you need to make sure it doesn't happen again," he says.

In a statement, the archdiocese says: "We are pleased that this settlement brings closure for Mr. Burden and for the archdiocese. The archdiocese pledges to continue its focus on prevention of and education about childhood sexual abuse."

As for Burden, he's now working as an attorney in Louisville. His case is the 241st, and assumed final, of this round of lawsuits.

Web story produced by Jay Ditzer.


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