Sunday, November 13, 2005


Former altar boy settles lawsuit accusing Naples priest of abuse

NAPLES, Fla. - A man who accused a former Roman Catholic priest of sexually abusing him as a 10-year-old altar boy has settled his lawsuit against the priest and the archbishop of Miami, his attorney said Thursday.

The man, who is identified as A.B. in court documents, accused William Romero of abuse in a Coral Gables church in 1975. The lawsuit named Romero and Archbishop John Favalora.

Romero denied knowing the man, according to depositions from 2004.

"My client made a decision to settle based upon considerations of his family, his personal life as well as to a determination as to what was being offered as a fair settlement," said Ron Weil, a Miami attorney representing the man, who is now in his 40s and living in New York state.

Weil said a confidentiality agreement barred him from revealing the terms of the settlement reached earlier this month.

Romero retired in 1995 and resigned from the clergy in 2003.

He declined comment when reached at his LaBelle home Thursday by the Naples Daily News.

"I have no comment for you people. All you do is sensationalize something that was completely fictitious. That's it. Goodbye," Romero said, before hanging up the phone.

Four other lawsuits are known to have been filed against Romero, who served at the St. Ann parish in Naples during the mid-1970s and the Archdiocese of Miami. Three sexual misconduct cases against him were settled last winter for $1.5 million. Another former altar boy collected a $135,000 settlement in May 2004.

"With this settlement, we hope to bring some healing to all those involved," Archdiocese of Miami spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said in a statement.

See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.

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