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Green Bay diocese settles with 2 sex abuse victims

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- The Diocese of Green Bay has settled a lawsuit brought by two brothers who accused the diocese of fraud.

Todd and Troy Merryfield alleged the diocese withheld knowledge of a former priest's prior sexual misconduct. The Rev. John Feeney later was convicted of sexually abusing the brothers in the late 1970s when they were boys.

Reports say a judge dismissed the lawsuit, based on the agreement.

Bishop David Ricken issued a statement apologizing to the Merryfields and all victims of child sexual abuse.

Under the settlement, the Merryfields will receive $700,000 -- the same amount a jury awarded to the brothers last year. But the judge overturned that verdict and ordered a new trial after ruling a juror had been biased.

A retrial had been scheduled for May.


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