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“No amount of compensation is enough,” said Allen, now a 27-year-old dental hygienist who lives in Northern California.


San Franciscan Friar Case

SANTA BARBARA, California (AP) -- The Franciscan Friars of California will pay $1.7 million to a man who claims a priest molested him when he was 9 years old, settling the last of more than a dozen lawsuits based on sexual abuse allegations at a seminary.

All of them have been settled out of court and the friars publicly apologized.

The Catholic organization reached agreement with John L. Allen and his lawyers last week. Both sides agreed to keep details of the settlement confidential for one week.

"No amount of compensation is enough," said Allen, now a 27-year-old dental hygienist who lives in Northern California.

Allen alleged in a 1999 lawsuit that he was repeatedly molested by Robert Van Handel, who ran the St. Anthony's Seminary boys choir, in 1982 and 1983.

Van Handel denied the allegations. In a separate criminal case, Van Handel and another St. Anthony's priest were convicted of child molestation in 1994 and Van Handel was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Although only Van Handel was accused of molesting Allen, church officials determined in 1993 that 11 St. Anthony's friars -- one-fourth of the priests assigned -- had sexually abused at least 34 boys between 1964 and 1987, the year the seminary closed.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.

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