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Victims of Montana clergy sex abuse vote on $20M settlement

July 31, 2018

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2008, file photo, Bishop Michael Warfel, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, speaks before communion during his installation as the seventh bishop of the diocese at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Great Falls, Mont. Victims of sexual abuse by former members of the clergy are voting on a proposed $20 million settlement that would also require the diocese to post on its website the names of 27 former clergy accused of abusing 86 people in eastern Montana between 1943 and 1993. The bankruptcy court plans a hearing next month to confirm the settlement. (Casey Page/The Billings Gazette via AP, file)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — 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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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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