Settlements reached in clergy abuse lawsuits

Monday, July 7, 2008 | 1:21 p.m. CDT; updated 11:48 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ST. LOUIS — A victims’ advocacy group says $312,500 is being paid to men who claim they were sexually molested by five St. Louis-area priests as far back as the late 1960s.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the priests sexually preyed upon six boys between the ages of 8 and 15 at parishes and grade schools from the late ’60s to the late 1980s.

The network says the settlements were finalized in recent weeks through mediation.

Attorney Bernard Huger confirmed that the Archdiocese of St. Louis had resolved several cases as a result of effective mediation.

The network named the priests in the settlements as the Revs. Robert Johnston, James Funke, Donald Straub, Joseph Lessard and Michael McGrath. No criminal charges have been filed.

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