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Diocese will pay $875K in sex abuse settlement

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POSTED June 7, 2013 12:52 a.m.

STOCKTON – The Diocese of Stockton has reached a negotiated settlement with attorneys for a man who was a victim of sexual abuse in the 1980s by defrocked Catholic priest Oliver O’Grady.

The announcement was made on Monday by Sr. Terry Davis, director of communications for the diocese.

Under the agreement, the victim who was not named will receive $1.75 million. The case will be dismissed. The Diocese is to pay $875,000 of the settlement amount, with the remaining portion to be paid through insurance proceeds.

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, in a statement issued along with the announcement of the settlement, stated, “It is our hope that this settlement will help the victim continue to find healing for the suffering he endured. We have tried to find resolutions to these cases that will provide some measure of solace for victims. We continue to follow strict measures to ensure that we are protecting the young and the vulnerable.”

The defrocked priest, who immigrated to the United States in 1971 from Ireland where he was ordained into the priesthood, had previously served at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hughson, St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Lodi, the Church of the Presentation in Stockton, and at St. Andrew’s Parish in San Andreas.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 1993 after he was convicted on four counts of “lewd and lascivious acts” on two minors who were brothers. In 1998, the diocese was ordered by a civil jury to pay $30 million in damages to the brothers, but a judge later reduced that amount to $7 million.

O’Grady served only seven years and was paroled in 2000 after which he was deported from the United States to Ireland.

He later claimed to have abused as many as 25 children in Northern California since 1973. The 70-year-old former priest is the subject of the documentary, “Deliver Us From Evil.” According to the latest information from online stories keeping tab of the defrocked priest’s whereabouts, he was sentenced in Ireland to three years in prison in January 2012 for possession of child pornography.

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