US diocese nears $10m paedophile priest settlement

The Boston Archdiocese and alleged sex abuse victims of defrocked Catholic priest John Geoghan have reached a tentative $10m (€10.06m) settlement.

The Boston Archdiocese and alleged sex abuse victims of defrocked Catholic priest John Geoghan have reached a tentative $10m (€10.06m) settlement.

”Tentative is the operative word,” said Owen Todd, Cardinal Bernard Law’s lawyer.

The deal could end civil actions brought by 86 people before a judge rules on the validity of a previous settlement worth up to $30m (€30.2m).

Church lawyers made the latest offer in late July, Todd said, before the sides went to court to determine if the previous settlement was binding.

Mitchell Garabedian, the victims lawyer, said he was encouraged and Todd said he had been told that all but one of the plaintiffs had agreed to the settlement. All plaintiffs must agree for the deal to be finalised.

The sexual abuse scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church in the US was sparked in January with revelations that church officials shuffled Geoghan from parish to parish despite knowing of abuse allegations against him.

Geoghan was convicted in January of groping a boy and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

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