Chicago Jesuits settle priest abuse case for $19.6 million

May 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM

CHICAGO, May 22 (UPI) -- Six men who charge they were victims of former priest Donald McGuire have settled a sex abuse lawsuit against Chicago Jesuits for $19.6 million.

The payout averaging $3 million a person is the largest individual amount awarded in the history of the U.S. Catholic sexual abuse scandal, lawyers for the victims told the Chicago Tribune.

Settlement of the lawsuit against the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus names a number of Jesuit superiors who for four decades kept McGuire's crimes a secret and enabled him to abuse more young men, victims' attorneys said.

Internal church records released Tuesday show that Chicago Jesuits consciously concealed McGuire's crimes for more than 40 years.

One letter written in 1970 by the then president of Loyola Academy in suburban Wilmette described McGuire's presence at the school as "positively destructive and corrosive."

McGuire was removed from the priesthood and is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.

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