$2 Million Clergy Sexual Abuse Settlement Not Taken from New "Victim Compensation Fund"
By Samiar Nefzi
March 26, 2019
The Catholic Diocese of Erie has reached a $2 million settlement with a victim who was sexually abused by Father David Poulson.
Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian appearing via Skype at a news conference in Erie, telling us this settlement was negotiated outside of the courts with lawyers from the Diocese.
The victim, referred to by his attorney as 'John Doe,' is in his 20's. He came forward with claims of sexual abuse at the hands of Father Poulson. He alleges the abuse took place over the course of eight years, from 2002-2010.
Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian says Bishop Donald Trautman allowed Father Poulson to continue to interact with the victim while fully knowing his past record as a pedophile.
Garabedian says, "According to the documents... in 2010, Bishop Trautman knew and conversed about Father Poulson being a sexual abuser." He also claims that current Bishop Lawrence Persico knew about the alleged abuse but continued to keep Father Poulson's history out of the public.
The abuse allegedly occurred at Saint Michael's, Saint Anthony's in Cambridge Springs, and at a cabin.
During the conference, Garabedian saying, ultimately, this is the Diocese fault saying, "this is their responsibility". Garabedian is now calling for the statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases to be lifted. "There is no statute of limitation for murder cases and there should be none in sexual abuse cases."
Former Priest James Faluszczak was also in attendance, discussing the abuse he has suffered.
When asking Faluszczak what he believes the Diocese has learned over the course of several sexual abuse claims, he said, "I can't see any evidence of anything that they have learned. They have learned to pay $4 million to an attorney to conduct an investigation that they should have been on from the beginning. "
The $2 million for the settlement was not negotiated through the Catholic Diocese's Victim Compensation Fund, nor was the settlement in relation to a lawsuit.
When asking what the victim will be using the money for, Garabedian says the money will go towards helping the victim get his life back.