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Green Bay diocese settles with 2 sex abuse victims

8:53 PM, Mar. 19, 2013  |  Comments
Ken Smolka, 70, who alleges he was molested in 1958 by a Jesuit priest, poses with a photo of himself at a younger age, at his home Friday March 15, 2013 in Glendora, Calif. The election of a new pope could help heal the wounds left by a Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis that has savaged the church's reputation worldwide. For alleged victims, much depends on whether Pope Francis disciplines the priests and the hierarchy that protected them. (AP Photo/Nick Ut )
Ken Smolka, 70, who alleges he was molested in 1958 by a Jesuit priest, poses with a photo of himself at a younger age, at his home Friday March 15, 2013 in Glendora, Calif. The election of a new pope could help heal the wounds left by a Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis that has savaged the church's reputation worldwide. For alleged victims, much depends on whether Pope Francis disciplines the priests and the hierarchy that protected them. (AP Photo/Nick Ut )
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APPLETON, Wis. (AP) - The Diocese of Green Bay has settled a lawsuit brought by two brothers who accused the diocese of fraud.

Todd and Troy Merryfield alleged the diocese withheld knowledge of a former priest's prior sexual misconduct. The Rev. John Feeney later was convicted of sexually abusing the brothers in the late 1970s when they were boys.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit, based on the agreement.

Bishop David Ricken issued a statement apologizing to the Merryfields and all victims of child sexual abuse.

Under the settlement, the Merryfields will receive $700,000 - the same amount a jury awarded to the brothers last year. But the judge overturned that verdict and ordered a new trial after ruling a juror had been biased.

A retrial had been scheduled for May.

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