Boston Archdiocese Reaches Settlements in Sex Abuse Cases

April 11, 2012

[with video]

[New Garabedian List -]

(NECN: Jennifer Eagan, Boston) - The Boston Archdiocese has settled sexual abuse cases involving two Massachusetts priests, including a former Boston Police chaplain.

Both priests, Rev. James H. Lane and Rev. Rickard O'Donovan, are now dead. Lane died in 2007, and O'Donovan died in 2000.

One of the priests served at St. Brendan's parish in Boston.

A victim's advocacy group says Father James Lane served at the parish in the early 1980s alongside a key figure in the church's sex abuse cases.

"He had the intention, he had the ability, he had the opportunity and he did it," said Robert Perron, who says he was nine years old when Father Rickard O'Donovan, a priest at what was then St. Coleman's Church, offered him private confirmation classes. "I never received anything about confirmation. What I did receive was sexual abuse, and I was molested over 20 times."

Perron reached a settlement with the Boston Archdiocese for his claims of sexual abuse. Two years of torment, he says, changed his life forever.

"The most moral institution in the world acting the most immorally," said Perron's lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who announced settlements in 11 other clergy sex abuse cases; seven were priests or members of religious orders who served in Massachusetts churches.

Reverend James Lane, a priest from Dorchester, was on the list. Up until now, Reverend Lane was known only for reportedly warning church officials about abuse allegations against a notorious priest in the 1980s.

The Boston Archdiocese released a statement, saying in part:

"There are significant challenges in cases where the accused priest is deceased, there are no prior claims of misconduct against the cleric and the abuse is alleged to have occurred many years ago. Every effort is made to fully investigate such claims, but without the ability to question the accused priest, the investigation is limited," said Terry Donilon.

The five- to six-figure settlements did not involve an admission of guilt.

Robert Perron says he came forward for his own closure and also in hopes of encouraging others to come forward for their own closure.


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