LA diocese and Cardinal Roger Mahony settle $10 million sex abuse case
Announcement made as Mahony assists with election of new Pope
The announcement was made as Mahony attends the Conclave in Rome which continues to vote on the election of a new Pope.
Lawyers for the victims have confirmed the deal after Mahony, who retired in 2011 as head of the largest U.S. archdiocese, was accused of helping a confessed pedophile priest evade law enforcement.
Legal documents claimed that Fr Michael Baker molested his four young victims repeatedly in the 1970s, including on overnight trips to San Diego. Baker was convicted of child molestation in 2007.
The lawsuits claim that then-Archbishop Mahony allowed him to continue to minister as a priest even though Baker admitted in 1986 that he had sexually abused minors in the past.
Admitting that his treatment of Baker was his ‘greatest mistake;’ Cardinal Mahony sent the priest out of state to a church-run treatment center before placing him back in the Los Angeles ministry.
Yahoo reports, via Reuters, that as part of the agreement approved by a Los Angeles judge earlier this month, none of the parties admitted wrongdoing.
The plaintiff’s attorney said: “The settlement, together with the recent release of internal church records documenting the role of Mahony and others in covering up child sexual abuse by the clergy, comes as close to an admission of guilt as you’re going to get from the archdiocese.”
Michael Hennigan, lawyer for the archdiocese, has confirmed a settlement in the amount of $9.99 million was reached.
He said: “The archdiocese has always taken the position that we were responsible for the conduct of the pedophile priest named in the case.”
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