Charla Aldous and Brent Walker, representing nine victims of sexual abuse in lawsuits against the Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, have settled the case over sexual abuse by priests from over 35 years ago.
The abuse claims date back to the 1970’s and 80’s. The Dallas prep school agreed to issue an apology, create a memorial and provide financial compensation as part of settlement. Details of the compensation will remain confidential.
“This was a case that could have been extraordinarily contentious,” said attorney and partner Ms. Aldous. “It involved some very personal and deeply traumatic issues and from the very beginning Jesuit prep school and opposing council have said they wanted to do the right thing by these men.”
The settlement involved a unique multiparty resolution and reconciliation agreement that has placed more emphasis on binding measures intended to embrace and empathize with past victims, acknowledge their pain, prevent future misconduct, and continue measures in place to prevent future misconduct.
“We want to thank Tom Melsheimer, who represented the school and Lee Taft who played a fundamental role in getting all of us to work together toward resolution,” said Brent Walker.
Jesuit Dallas has agreed to create a memorial dedicated to victims of sexual abuse involving religious leaders. In addition, the school will reaffirm its commitment to continue policies and procedures that have successfully been in place for many years, including:
• Require school employees to complete an annual safe environment program at the school, focused on maintaining appropriate relationships with minors.
• Require staff, students, and parents to pledge to report reasonable suspicion of sexual misconduct by faculty, staff, or other adult members of the Jesuit community.
• Engage in the comprehensive screening of all new staff members.
• Provide prompt notification to law enforcement upon receipt of a report of sexual abuse of a minor.
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