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Green Bay Diocese Reaches Sex Abuse Settlement

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 -- 7:19 a.m.

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 when they were boys.

The Post-Crescent (http://post.cr/139tvni) reports a judge dismissed the lawsuit, based on the agreement. Terms of the settlement were not immediately available.

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

An Outagamie County jury found the diocese liable last year and awarded the brothers $700,000. But the judge overturned the verdict and ordered a new trial after ruling that a juror had been biased.

A retrial had been scheduled for May.

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