Victims of Montana Clergy Sex Abuse Voting on $20M Settlement

Eighty-six victims say abuse occurred in eastern Montana between 1943 and 1993

By Tristan Scott

BILLINGS — Victims of sexual abuse by former members of the clergy in Montana’s Diocese of Great Falls-Billings are voting on a proposed $20 million settlement.

The Billings Gazette reports the proposed settlement also would require the Roman Catholic diocese to post on its website for at least 10 years the names of 27 former clergy whose sexual abuse prompted lawsuits that led the diocese to file for bankruptcy last year.

Eighty-six people filed claims over abuse in eastern Montana between 1943 and 1993.

Two-thirds of the victims are required to support the settlement.

The bankruptcy court plans an August hearing to confirm the settlement, which prohibits the diocese from referring to victims as alleged victims.

The settlement will be covered by insurance, donations from parishioners and diocese property sales.

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