October 13, 2003
Kentucky Diocese Settles With Victims
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
COVINGTON, Ky., Oct. 12 (AP) The Roman Catholic
Diocese of Covington has agreed to pay a total of about $5.2 million to
27 people who said priests had sexually abused them in their youth.
The men and women had accused at least six priests of abuse in the
1960's and 1970's in Lexington and other parts of northern Kentucky.
In two agreements announced Saturday, the payouts were $4,415,000 to 24
people and $750,000 to three others. The amount each person will
receive is based on the severity of the abuse and its impact.
The settlements follow meetings between Bishop Roger J. Foys and many
of the claimants, who included 22 plaintiffs in a lawsuit and 5 others
who brought out-of-court claims.
"I am very pleased that we are able to take this important step, and I
pray that it will be the beginning of healing and reconciliation with
those who have been deeply hurt as children by priests," Bishop Foys
said in a statement.
Daniel Lucas, one of 18 people who said they were abused by the Rev.
Leonard Nienaber in Lexington, said it was a shame the diocese waited
for the children to become adults before such a reconciliation.
"I'm cautious but optimistic that the Catholic Diocese of Covington has
recognized that abuse has occurred," Mr. Lucas said, "and reconciling
and healing the abused is far more important than any image they can
hope to portray."
Father Nienaber, who is in his 90's, has been serving a 10-year
sentence at a treatment center in Missouri after his conviction on 10
abuse charges in 1993.
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