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$700K settlement reached in Catholic Diocese of Green Bay molestation civil lawsuit

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A court gavel
A court gavel

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has reached a settlement in a civil lawsuit filed by two brothers stemming from a priest who was later convicted of molesting the boys in the late 70’s.

Todd and Troy Merryfield won $700,000 in damages last year, but the judge later tossed out the jury’s verdict and ordered a new trial after an appeal from the Diocese.  A juror was found to be impartial. 

The Merryfield's attorney Jeff Anderson says the Diocese agreed to pay the brothers $700,000 as part of a settlement.

Catholic Diocese of Green Bay Bishop David Ricken released a statement Tuesday:

"First and foremost, I would like to say I am truly sorry to Todd Merryfield and Troy Merryfield, as well as their families, for the pain they have endured from child sexual abuse and the lawsuits that followed. I hope and pray that they can experience God’s healing presence within their hearts. 

Not only do I offer my sincere apology to the Merryfields, but to all of God’s children who have been impacted from child sexual abuse, especially the victims/survivors. Each time I have personally met and listened to their experiences and concerns, I am reminded of the profound affects this abuse has on their lives.

I recognize the suffering of those who have been harmed and promise to work with all those interested in rebuilding their trust in the Church.

As the current shepherd of the Diocese of Green Bay, I am genuinely sorry and will continue to keep them close in prayer as they heal.

It has been 10 years since the implementation of the United States bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in June 2002. During this time and continuing into the future, it has been our pledge to create an environment that protects our children and individuals at risk from harm. The faithful of the Diocese of Green Bay deserve to be treated with dignity, charity and respect, and to be served by men and women who fully reflect the love and protection of Jesus Christ."

The new trial was set to begin on May 6th

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