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Mediation News

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The Catholic Church recently settled 30 lawsuits regarding claims of sexual abuse by priests in Hawaii. There are a total of 63 abuse claims in 40 lawsuits made by people who claim they were abused as children.

 

Details from several cases have been reported in the media, including Mark Pinkosh, a man who claimed two priests abused him as a child at St. Anthony Church in Kailua. Pinkosh filed his lawsuit in 2012. According to Pinkosh, he was raped by a priest and reported the incident to another priest, who told him to keep the rape secret. That priest than raped him, too, and went on to become the bishop of Hawaii’s Catholic Church.

 

Pinkosh and 62 other victims participated in mediation in 2015 in an attempt to settle their lawsuits. The majority of plaintiffs in the cases were men, though there were a few who were women.

 

At least 30 of the lawsuits have been settled through mediation that was accomplished in three phases. The dollar amounts from the settlements are currently unknown, but could be made public in the future. Ultimately it is up to the victims to release the final dollar amount of their settlements.

 

Hawaii’s current Vicar General, the Very Reverent Gary Secor, released a public statement following the settlements that said, "Words cannot express how truly sorry I am for the abuse children suffered at the hands of Catholic clergy and others."

 

One of the attorneys representing the victims is pleased with the settlements, but is also concerned there are more victims than just the 63 who have come forward. He estimates the numbers could be as high as 50 or 100 times what they know so far.