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Seattle Catholic archdiocese settles sexual abuse claim

December 10, 2021 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s Catholic archdiocese has agreed to pay a Washington woman $725,000 as part of an early dispute resolution to her lawsuit alleging an unidentified employee sexually abused her at the Catholic school she attended more than 40 years ago.

The woman, identified by her initials, T.R., was an 8-year-old third grade student at the archdiocese’s private St. Louise Parish School in 1977 when an unidentified playground attendant started giving her candy and began sexually grooming her, the lawsuit said.

The employee, referred to only as “John Doe,” went on to repeatedly molest T.R. — abuse that was “foreseeable and preventable had Seattle Archdiocese acted on John Doe’s grooming behavior and removed him for his repeated sexual misconduct,” the suit contends.

“For years, she has tried to compartmentalize this, hoping it would go away,” Darrell Cochran, the woman’s attorney, told the Seattle Times. “But she realized no matter what she attained in her life, it was always there.”

Mary Santi, the archdiocese’s chancellor, said the early dispute resolution protocol aims to avoid litigation that can retraumatize victims by providing “healing and closure” to any abuse survivor who wants to come forward, even those who are represented by an attorney.