Four New York boys who said they were abused by a volunteer catechism teacher at a Catholic church have reached a $27.5 million settlement with the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The agreement is believed to be the largest settlement ever on behalf of an individual arising out of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, according to lawyers in the case, the New York Daily News reported.
Each boy will receive $6.875 million, the news outlet reported.
The payout comes amid a crisis in the church over rampant clerical sex abuse — and its coverup.
According to the News, the Brooklyn boys were sexually abused by Angelo Serrano, who worked at St. Lucy-St. Patrick Catholic Church from 2003 to 2009; Serrano pleaded guilty in 2011 to an inappropriate sexual conduct with a child, and is serving a 15-year sentence.
A Brooklyn judge also lashed out at two priests at the now-closed church, Rev. Frank Shannon and Rev. Stephen Lynch, for ignoring clear signs of Serrano's activities.
"Lynch and Shannon had knowledge that for years Serrano often had several boys . . . sleep over at his apartment," Justice Loren Baily-Schiffman wrote, the News reported. "The record in this case at bar is replete with evidence of Serrano's inappropriate behavior with sexual implications that continued for years even after he was told to stop."
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