Large Settlement Reached in Priest Abuse Cases

Associated Press, carried in KTUU
November 18, 2007

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A large settlement has been reached in the cases for 110 Alaska Natives who were victims of sexual abuse -- most of them victimized by Jesuit priests.

The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus has agreed to pay the victims $50 million.

Attorney Ken Roosa who represented the victims says the settlement is the largest one reached against a Catholic religious order.

Even so, Roosa says the settlement does not include the Diocese of Fairbanks. Those cases are still in litigation. The diocese owned and managed the churches in the villages where the Jesuit priests and volunteers were assigned.

Some of the case settled yesterday involved the Reverend James Poole, the founder of Catholic radio station KNOM in Nome.

Poole, who is in his 80s, lives in an assisted living facility in Spokane, Washington.

Roosa says a mediator will determine how the $50 million should be divided among the victims.


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