$1.1 Million Settlement in Sexual Abuse Case

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
November 15, 2007

A Skagit County man who said he was sexually abused 27 years ago by a former principal has reached a $1.1 million settlement with the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese and the Christian Brothers, a worldwide order of the Roman Catholic Church.

In the summer of 1980, the man was a prospective student at St. Alphonsus Parish School in Ballard and Brother Edward Courtney was on his way out as principal following multiple allegations of abusing other students there, said Mike Pfau, the victim's attorney.

Pfau said students also had accused Courtney of abuse at O'Dea High School, which is owned by the archdiocese but operated by the Christian Brothers.

Michael Patterson, attorney for the archdiocese, said Courtney was forced to resign at St. Alphonsus following a specific incident involving another boy in May 1980, and that the archdiocese did not learn of the abuse involving the Skagit County man until years later.

Pfau disputed that, saying the archdiocese was aware of the multiple allegations, including those of his client, no later than 1980.


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