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Diocese Victim Payouts to be Divvied Based on Nature of Abuse

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Now that the sexual abuse claims against the San Diego Diocese are settled, it may seem like the legal part, at least, is over. But there's a crucial step left. A judge still has to decide how much money each molestation victim will receive. KPBS reporter Amita Sharma has more.

If the $198 million the San Diego Diocese has agreed to pay to the sexual abuse victims were averaged out, each person would receive more than $1.3 million. But that's not how the money will be divided.

Lawyer Andrea Leavitt says a Los Angeles judge will now evaluate how much each person gets based on the length and nature of the abuse and age of the victim when the molestations occurred.

Leavitt : The younger the age of the child, the more damaging the effects of the abuse is. For children who are abused under age 12, one might expect they have less coping mechanisms and less abilities to deal with it than perhaps somebody in adolescence who is over age 12.

The first payments to the 144 victims aren't expected to go out until next year.

Amita Sharma, KPBS News.

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