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Diocese Pays $1M in Case Tied to NJ Official

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Ill., will pay $1.35 million to settle a case of sexual abuse that took place when Newark Archbishop John J. Myers was in charge there, a former altar boy’s lawyer said Monday.

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The former altar boy accuses the late Msgr. Thomas Maloney of abusing him at Epiphany Catholic Church, in Normal, Ill., in the mid-1990s. His lawsuit accuses Myers of failing to take action against Maloney, who died in 2009.

The former altar boy says he was 8 years old when the abuse took place. His attorney, Jeff Anderson, accuses Myers of failing to protect children in Peoria, where he was bishop from 1990 to 2001, when he moved to Newark.

Anderson said the case against the diocese was settled on Friday. The diocese and its attorney Joseph Feehan did not immediately return messages left after hours on Monday.

Anderson said that on Tuesday he will release a 2010 deposition of Myers being questioned about the case. A spokesman for Myers did not immediately return a request for comment.

The lawsuit also contends two women reported Maloney had abused them but no action was taken. In 2008, a state’s attorney found there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against him.

In Newark, Myers has been under fire for his handling of the case of the Rev. Michael Fugee, who authorities charged in June after he violated the terms of an agreement with a prosecutor’s office.

Fugee confessed to police that he grabbed a boy’s crotch and was convicted of aggravated sexual assault in 2003. Fugee’s lawyers said the confession was coerced.

The conviction was thrown out after courts revised jury instructions related to a procedural aspect of the case. Rather than retrying Fugee, prosecutors and the archdiocese agreed to allow Fugee to return to ministry but not have unsupervised contact with or oversee minors.

Fugee flouted the agreement and became a fixture at a youth group in Colt’s Neck. The archdiocese said it didn’t know until it was reported in the press. Fugee resigned in June.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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