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Colorado Diocese Settles $4M Sex Abuse Case

The Catholic Diocese and the Marianist religious order have agreed to pay $4 million to settle the claims of 23 men who said they were sexually abused when they attended a Catholic high school in Pueblo.

The agreement involved alleged abuse at Roncalli High School between 1966 and 1971.

Lawsuits were filed on behalf of the former students who allege a former Brother lured them at the school and asked them to participate in an experiment about trust. He then placed a cloth soaked in ether, a compound used for anesthesia, over their mouths, then sexually abused them as they lay helpless.

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Roncalli was an all-boys high school owned by the diocese and staffed by the Marianists. It closed in 1971.

Nearly two dozen former students came forward after the first allegation surfaced in a lawsuit filed in September 2005.

Pueblo authorities investigated the claims in 2005 and determined that no criminal charges could be filed. Prosecutors said the law at the time allowed for prosecution only within 10 years of a juvenile victim’s 18th birthday.

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