55 survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests belonging to the Roman
Catholic Diocese of Gallup and the Franciscan Order of priests were awarded
roughly $24 million in a settlement on June 22nd. Each abuse survivor will be awarded an individual sum based upon the
nature and extent of their individual abuse, however, the average award
is approximately $350,000 per claim.
Documents pertaining to Rev. Hageman and other priests found to have raped
children throughout the diocese had been released by a group called BishopAccountability.org.
These documents show that rumors regarding Rev. Hageman’s rape of
children had been circulating for years prior to his move to the Diocese
of Gallup where he victimized more boys.
The Phoenix injury firm
Montoya, Jimenez, Lucero & Pastor, P.A. represented 17 victims of abuse from throughout Arizona. The Gallup Diocese
covers northern Arizona where many victims of abuse lived in predominately
working class, Catholic neighborhoods.
U.S. Bankrutpcy Judge David T. Thuma presided over the case, which he noted
was “kind of a catastrophe for the abuse victims and the church.”
Many of the diocese’s victims had spent years wrestling with depression,
addiction, incarceration, or homelessness.
The settlement brings to a close the sexual abuse cases against the Diocese
of Gallup which have been in bankruptcy since filing for bankruptcy protection
in November 2013. A portion of the award will be set aside to fund future
sexual abuse claims against the Diocese.
Bishop James Wall of the Gallup Diocese informed the court that he will
be doing “all that I can” to ensure “something like
this…never happens again.”
More details of the case can be found here: