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Archdiocese of Chicago

Chicago, IL: (May-29-07) In a settlement reached, the Archdiocese of Chicago agreed to pay $6.65 million to fourteen people who claimed they were sexually abused by almost a dozen of the diocese' priests. Details of the settlement were to be made public at a conference at the Allerton Crowne Plaza, which would officially end the 14 civil cases, which began as early as 1962. The lawsuits involved priests Robert D. Craig, ordained in 1974, Joseph P. Kissane, 1969, William J. O'Brien, 1973, Ken Ruge, 1963, Robert Charles Becker, 1965, Robert E. Mayer, 1964, Walter E. Huppenbauer, 1957, Joseph L. Fitzharris, 1962, Vincent E. McCaffrey, 1978, and Norbert J. Maday, 1964. Diocese officials claimed that none of the priests were in active ministry. Two of those accused, Peter McNamara and Leonard Kmak, had faced no legal action until the lawsuits were filed. McNamara was ordained in 1970; Kmak in 1959. The first allegation of abuse involving Kmak dates back to 1962. The most recent, involving Craig, dates to 1990. Most of the abuse occurred during the mid-1970s and the 1980s. Four of the priests were charged with crimes and convicted. McCaffrey pleaded guilty to charges in 2002, Maday and Mayer were convicted in 1992, and Fitzharris was convicted in 1987. Becker, Ruge and Kmak have died. Among the cases that reached settlement, most of the priests had been publicly accused before. [KENTUCKY HERALD LEADER: PRIEST ABUSE]

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Published on May-30-07


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