What to Know
- Four men who said they were sexually abused as boys by a teacher at a Brooklyn Catholic church have reached a $27.5 million settlement
- Lawyers for the victims say a lay teacher of religion at St. Lucy's-St. Patrick's Church, repeatedly abused the boys from 2003 to 2009
- The men will each receive about $6.8 million
Four men who said they were sexually abused as boys by a teacher at a Brooklyn Catholic church have reached a $27.5 million settlement from the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The men will each receive about $6.8 million.
In terms of individual payouts, it is largest settlement on record involving abuse of minors by Roman Catholic Church figures, almost double the amount received by two victims in Rockville Centre, New York, in 2008, NBC News reported.
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Lawyers for the victims say 67-year-old Angelo Serrano, a lay teacher of religion at St. Lucy's-St. Patrick's Church in Brooklyn, repeatedly abused the young boys between 2003 and 2009. Serrano is serving a 15-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2011 to inappropriate course of sexual conduct with a child.
The settlement comes just two weeks after the New York attorney general subpoenaed all eight Roman Catholic dioceses in the state as part of an investigation into the handling of sex abuse allegations. A grand jury report this summer found rampant sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by about 300 priests in Pennsylvania.
"These were boys who were abused in second grade through sixth grade, for years for some of them," said Ben Rubinowitz, one of the lawyers for the victims. "The egregious nature of the conduct is the reason that the church paid what they did."
The diocese had "highly contested" its role in the abuse because Serrano was neither clergy nor a paid employee, but it did confirm the settlement and said in a statement it hopes the agreement "is another step forward in the healing process for these claimants."