Diocese launches compensation fund for clergy abuse victims

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ROCKVILLE CENTRE -

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is launching a fund to compensate victims of sex abuse by clergy.

The Diocese sent a letter to victims notifying them of the settlement program. It's called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

Victims who accept settlement money must waive their right to bring their cases to court.

The compensation fund is aimed at bringing closure to dozens of cases of alleged abuse by clergy that, in some cases, date back decades.

Settlements range from $100,000 to $500,000. Attorneys for clergy sex abuse victims say while accepting a settlement under the fund may help victims, it effectively hides the truth.

"In essence, they're paying people off," says attorney Mitchell Garabedian. "It's saying to these people, 'Here's some money. We're not going to list publicly the names of the predator priests. We just want you to go away.'"

It is unclear how many letters were sent out by the Diocese of Rockville Centre. A spokesman for the diocese says a formal announcement about the fund will be made in the near future.

Head over to Newsday for more on this story.

Letter sent to victims:

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