Sexual abuse lawsuit settled

Associated Press
April 4, 2000

Bridgeport, Conn. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a former altar boy who claimed he was sexually abused by a priest at a Stamford church more than 30 years ago.

The settlement Monday ends a high-profile priest abuse case that previously resulted in a $1 million verdict against the diocese.

Last November, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the verdict in the case.

By agreement, neither side would reveal the amount of the settlement. However, the Connecticut Post cited sources who called it "substantial."

"We are happy to have been able to resolve this case amicably," said Jennifer Laviano, who, along with her father, William Laviano, represented former altar boy Frank Martinelli, who now lives in Milwaukee.

"All the issues were resolved between myself and the diocese of Bridgeport," Martinelli said.

Martinelli said he would continue his search for the Rev. Lawrence Brett, who allegedly sexually assaulted him and other children around the country.

Brett, whose whereabouts are unknown, is being sought by the FBI for allegedly sexually assaulting children at a Baltimore school.

Diocese spokesman Tom Drohan confirmed the case was resolved.

"It was an agreement we feel was fair to both parties and with that the civil lawsuit has been terminated," Drohan said.








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