Sex Abuse

Pacific Northwest Jesuits to Pay $166M in Sex Abuse Settlement

The Pacific Northwest chapter of the Roman Catholic Church’s Jesuit order has agreed to pay $166.1 million to settle 524 abuse claims in a five-state area, attorneys said on Friday. The payout was made by the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province—part of the Northwest chapter of the Jesuits that covers Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. Most of the victims were Native Americans from remote Alaska Native villages or Indian reservations in the Pacific Northwest who were abused by Jesuit missionaries in the 1940s through the 1990s, and none of the perpetrators, which included priests, Jesuit novices, scholastics, lay volunteers, deacons, and even nuns, ever faced criminal charges, according to Rebecca Rhoades, an attorney for the abuse victims. The abuse was only unearthed when the victims had already reached adulthood, and by that time either the statute of limitations had expired or the abusers had died. The payout is said to be the third-largest as far as Catholic Church sex-abuse cases go, behind a $660 million settlement reached with the Los Angeles Diocese, and a $198 million settlement from the San Diego Diocese, according to BishopAccountability.org.