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$10 million settles alleged priest abuse case

Judge OKs Boston archdiocese settlement plan

John Geoghan
John Geoghan

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BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- The Boston archdiocese paid $10 million Thursday to settle a suit by 86 plaintiffs who said they were sexually assaulted by former priest John Geoghan.

The $10 million check from the archdiocese was given to the plaintiffs' attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, according to lawyers for the archdiocese.

In return, the plaintiffs agreed to drop further legal claims against the church, ending months of negotiation and revelations about the former priest.

Judge Constance Sweeney turned to face the plaintiffs present in the courtroom and said, "Mr. Geoghan did in fact do to you what you said he did to you."

She went on to commend the plaintiffs for staying the course through the long process.

The archdiocese backed out of an earlier $30 million settlement in May, saying it could not afford the deal as hundreds of other lawsuits were likely to be filed.

Geoghan faces more charges

Geoghan has been sentenced to nine to 10 years in prison for molesting a boy in a swimming pool a decade ago. He still faces two criminal charges and dozens of civil lawsuits. More than 130 people have accused him of sexual abuse.

The settlement was reached on the same day that a new lawsuit was announced claiming the archdiocese of Boston conspired to cover up alleged sexual misconduct by 12 priests over 50 years.

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Carmen Durso on behalf of 27 plaintiffs, says that church officials failed to respond to complaints of sexual abuse, protected the priests involved and tried to cover up the evidence of abuse.

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