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Georgia diocese agrees to 2nd-largest abuse settlement

October 29, 2009

The Diocese of Savannah has agreed to the second-largest abuse settlement with an individual victim of clerical sexual abuse. The diocese offered $4.24 million to Allan Ranta in order to “to avoid the expense and burden of a lengthy trial by all parties,” according to a diocesan statement. Mr. Ranta alleged that he was abused repeatedly by ex-priest Wayland Brown from 1978 to 1983.

According to local media reports, Brown had been ordained by Bishop Raymond Lessard in 1977 over the objections of the diocesan vocation director, who was concerned that Brown might be abusing children.

“I am sorry for all the pain and suffering experienced by Mr. Ranta and my prayers go out not only to him, but to all victims of child sexual abuse that each may find the healing they seek,” said Bishop J. Kevin Boland. Mr. Ranta’s attorney called the apology “insufficient.”


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