Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena Sex Abuse Settlement
By Amanda Roley
March 04, 2015
Tomorrow the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena will ask a bankruptcy judge for permission to proceed with a $15-million plan, which will be used to pay over 300 victims of alleged sexual abuse committed by its clergy.
The hearing comes just four years after lawsuits were filed against the Diocese for the alleged abuse that happened between 1940 and 1960.
One of the two lawsuits filed in 2011 claims that 362 children were sexually abused by clergy members at the Diocese of Helena, many of those children are now between the ages of 30 and 60.
The $15 million settlement to compensate the victims was reached last year, after the Diocese filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. So, the settlement must be approved tomorrow in bankruptcy court in Coure d'Alene, Idaho.
If this plan is approved, the Diocese insurance companies would provide $14.4 million to the trust, while the Diocese itself would contribute $2 million.
Communication services director for the Diocese of Helena said tomorrow could be a historic day for the diocese, and will hopefully bring closure.
"It gives the Catholics and the Diocese an opportunity to deal with what's gone on, and to begin the process of healing and the process of rebuilding the diocese financially, and the ability to move forward."
The U.S. bankruptcy court in Montana would supervise the disbursement of the &16.4 million if this plan is approved.