Catholic Diocese of Paterson to pay $5 million to settle priest sex abuse suit

The Catholic Diocese of Paterson plans to pay $5 million to settle a priest sex abuse lawsuit.

The settlement will be split among 27 victims who say they were molested by several priests in the diocese. If the settlement is signed by all of the alleged victims, the sum will be the largest payout ever made by a New Jersey diocese in a clergy sex abuse case.

In the lawsuit, the victims, all male, claimed to have been violated decades ago by James Hanley, a former priest at Saint Joseph?s in Mendham. Hanley was removed from the priesthood in 2002, but the men claim the Diocese of Paterson failed to take action when it first learned of the allegations in 1985.

Under the settlement, each of the victims could receive anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000. The diocese has also agreed to provide four years of counseling to each of the victims.

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