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Newark, N.J. Archdiocese to Pay Nine $1.1M

Oct 8, 2004 | AP The Archdiocese of Newark has agreed to pay $1.1 million to nine people who sued the diocese over alleged sexual abuse by priests. The settlement, announced Friday, carries no admission of wrongdoing on the part of the archdiocese or any priest.

"There are no winners here," said Gregory Gianforcaro, who represented seven men and two women who alleged they were abused. "These men and women were sexually abused as children, and nothing will ever give them back the innocence they lost as children."

The amounts of the settlements vary. Gianforcaro declined to provide the range.

James Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said questions had been raised about the credibility of some claims, some of which date back 30 years. Only three of the allegations had been reported to the archdiocese before 2002, he said.

Nonetheless, he said the archdiocese preferred to avoid litigation "and also to provide assistance to the individuals and to seek to begin the process of healing."

Of the nine priests accused of abuse, two have active ministries and a third is retired, Goodness said. There was insufficient evidence against those three to warrant either criminal or church action, he said.

The statute of limitations had passed for criminal prosecution.

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