Little Rock Diocese Settles Sexual Abuse Claims

Lawyers for five men who claim an Arkansas priest sexually abused them more than four decades ago say the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock has settled after mediation in what the attorneys believe is a first of its kind case for the state.

Attorney Josh Gillispie says the church agreed to the settlement in May in a case involving John McDaniel, who in 1970 was an associate pastor at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic Church in Little Rock.

Diocese spokesman Dennis Lee confirms the total settlement amount was for $790,000.

Gillispie says the boys were between 12 and 15 years old and were students at Holy Souls when McDaniel abused them.

In September, the diocese included McDaniel on a since-expanded list of 12 members of the clergy against whom there have been credible or substantiated abuse claims. McDaniel died in 1974.

It is unknown how many accusations there are or whether the diocese plans to settle other cases.

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