Saturday, November 21, 2009

Archdiocese: No evidence of racism in sex abuse settlements

Archdiocese: No evidence of racism in sex abuse settlements
November 20, 2009 5:34 PM | No Comments
Stung by a television news segment alleging racial discrimination in the settlement process for victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago unveiled a report today showing no evidence of discrimination in determining financial settlements.

In fact, the report produced by Chicago law firm Pugh, Jones, Johnson & Quandt, found that the average settlement for African-American claimants is more than 19 percent higher than the average settlement and more than 28 percent higher than settlements with white claimants. The report also stated that counseling was offered to all victims and there was no evidence of minority victims being belittled in the settlement process.

"It has never been an archdiocesan practice to compile statistics about abuse claims based on race or ethnicity," the archdiocese said in a statement. "However, it felt compelled to do so when these allegations were made."

The television news report which aired on WMAQ -TV in August was intended to preview a class action lawsuit that was supposed to be filed soon afterward. A lawsuit has not been filed.

Attorney Philip Aaron said the lawsuit has not been filed because the mediator told him to wait. He now accuses the mediator of being on the archdiocese's side.

"The thing that's lost in all of this is the treatment of the victims," Aaron said. "This was a conspiracy."

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