The Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut, will pay $900,000 to a man who was allegedly abused hundreds of times by the late Rev. Paul Hebert at Holy Trinity Church in the 1990s.
The clergy sexual abuse settlement is the third involving Herbert. The Norwich Diocese previously resolved claims stemming from his tenure at St. Michael the Archangel Church from 1971 to 1981.
According to TheDay.com, Herbert was also one of 43 priests on a list of credibly-accused clergy released earlier this year.
Jonathan Roy sued the Norwich Diocese in 2016, claiming he was “handpicked” by Herbert to be an altar boy at the age of 11. The first alleged assault occurred after confession. During the ensuing years, Herbert purportedly used alcohol and expensive gifts to ensure Roy’s silence.
Roy’s complaint maintains Diocesan authorities knew Herbert abused boys at St. Michael’s. But rather than report the accused priest, they “quickly transferred” Herbert to Holy Trinity “in order to conceal this deviant conduct from the public, criminal authorities and Catholic faithful.”
“He’s very happy with the settlement,” one of Roy’s attorneys said at a news conference announcing the agreement. “He’s especially happy to have this chapter of his life over with.”
So far, the Norwich Diocese has $9.5 to resolve allegations over abusive clergy and related cover-ups. The Diocese still faces 22 clergy sexual abuse lawsuits involving two Christian Brothers who allegedly abused boys at Academy at Mount Saint John.
Roman Catholic dioceses and religious orders throughout the United States have paid more than $3 billion in clergy sexual abuse settlements since the wide-ranging scandal erupted over 16 years ago. At least 19 dioceses have filed for bankruptcy protection.
Child sexual abuse survivors in Connecticut must file civil lawsuits by their 48th birthday or five years from when the victim notified police of the crime, whichever is shorter.However, state lawmakers are currently considering legislation to eliminate the statute of limitations entirely.
Several states have already passed similar laws, including neighboring New York, where the Child Victims Act:
Catholic officials successfully fought passage of the Child Victims Act for more than a decade. But public support increased considerably last year, after a Pennsylvania Grand Jury investigation revealed the extent of Church cover-ups. Democrats won control of the New York State Senate in November, ensuring its passage.