NEWS
08/12/2014 01:31 EDT | Updated 10/12/2014 05:59 EDT

Redemptorist Order of Catholic Priests to pay sexual abuse victims $20M

The Redemptorist Order of Catholic Priests will pay $20 million to victims of sexual abuse at its St-Alphonse Seminary near Quebec City during the 1970s and '80s.

Robert Kugler, the lawyer representing former students at the seminary, said the landmark out-of-court settlement is the largest ever paid in a class-action sexual abuse lawsuit in Quebec.

In July, Superior Court Judge Claude Bouchard ordered the Redemptorist Order, the St-Alphonse Seminary and Rev. Raymond-Marie Lavoie to pay at least $75,000 to each of the lawsuit's 70 claimants.

Other victims have since come forward, bringing the number of total claimants to more than 100 — and counting.

“That number is likely to go up by a lot… We have tried to simplify the process to ensure that a maximum number of victims present claims,” Kugler told Radio-Canada.

Lawyers representing the men who attended the private boarding school in Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré as teenagers alleged there was systemic abuse and a cover-up at the school during the '70s and '80s.

Serge Létourneau, a lawyer in the case, said two of the alleged abusers were once principals at the school and also sat on the provincial executive committee of the Redemptorist Order.

In 2011, Lavoie pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 13 children and is serving a five-year sentence.

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