Catholic Diocese Settles Lawsuit

October 28, 2009

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Catholic Diocese of Savannah has reached an agreement to pay Allan Ranta more than $4 million in a sexual abuse lawsuit.

Ranta claimed former priest Wayland Brown, molested him more than 30 years ago and that the Diocese knew about Brown's propensities.

Brown was arrested in June 2002. He was serving time for abusing a 12-year-old boy more than three decades ago in Maryland.

The victim said the abuse happened between 1973 and 1983 during a summer trip to Savannah.

Brown was an associate pastor at Saint James in Savannah from 1987 to 1988 and was living in Savannah at the time of his arrest.

During mediation, the Catholic Diocese of Savannah settled the lawsuit Wednesday with Ranta for $4.2 million to avoid the burden and expense of a lengthy trial on both sides.

In 2002, the Diocese adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People to provide a safe environment for children.

Bishop Kevin Boland of the Catholic Diocese of Savannah says, "The protection of children and youth is of the utmost importance."

He also said he's sorry for Ranta's pain and suffering and his prayers go out to him and all children who were victims of child sexual abuse.


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