Ri Diocese Pays $1.3m to Settle Abuse Claims

Boston Globe

August 29, 2008

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence will pay $1.3 million to four people who claimed they were abused by priests, lawyers said Friday.

The settlements were reached in June and will go to the victims or their estates, said attorney James Murphy, who represented the church.

Three men - Marc Banville, Donald Leighton and Christopher Young -- sued the diocese starting in 2003 alleging they were abused as children by Roman Catholic priests.

"There is no amount of money that is going to make it right," Carl DeLuca, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, told The Providence Journal. "It is more an issue of validation. And in that sense they feel validated."

Murphy said a fourth man, whom he would not name, contacted church authorities to report that he had been abused. He never filed a lawsuit and died before the settlement was reached.

"These are very intense cases and troubling cases," Murphy said.

Bishop Thomas Tobin and the Providence diocese did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the agreement.

In 2002, the diocese reached a $14.25 million settlement with 37 alleged victims of sexual abuse in Rhode Island who filed lawsuits. The cases involved allegations against 11 priests and a nun.


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