Chicago Archdiocese to pay $1.75M settlement to woman who says she was abused by priest in 1980s

Fox News/August 5, 2022

Chicago -- The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Carmelites will pay a reported $1.75 million to a woman who claimed she was repeatedly sexually abused as a girl by a priest at St. Cyril Catholic Church on the South Side.

The settlement was reached in June and avoids a lawsuit, according to a statement from Romanucci and Blandin, the firm who represented the victim.

The attorney for the victim said his client was abused multiple times by Carmelite priest Father Robert Boley in the 1980s.

The victim said Boley was her teacher when he abused her during one school year at St. Cyril in Woodlawn, the statement said. According to her, Boley would ask the girl to stay inside for recess and sexually assault her. While the abuse was allegedly taking place, Boley would make the girl read the Bible while telling her she was a bad child and that God was angry with her.

There were further allegations the Archdiocese of Chicago was aware of complaints about Boley while he worked with children in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles prior to his transfer to Chicago, but still hired and retained him.

While working in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Boley was reportedly accused of molesting at least two children, but was transferred to Chicago without a documented explanation, according to attorneys.

An attorney for the victim, Martin Gould, said Boley took advantage of his position of authority, drastically altering the course of his client's life.

"Our client endured unspeakable abuse as a child at the hands of someone she was taught to obey, trust and respect. The abuse had a devastating impact on our client, and detrimentally changed the trajectory of her life," Gould said in a statement. "After engaging in lengthy discussions, we appreciate that the Carmelites and Archdiocese of Chicago recognized the physical, psychological and spiritual harm caused and were willing to be a part of the healing process."

Attorneys said they believe their client's bravery in coming forward about the abuse will help protect other children from experiencing the same trauma.

"Our client demonstrated tremendous courage coming forward to tell her story and seek accountability, and we are confident the testimony she provided to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office as part of their investigation into clergy abuse within the state will ultimately lead to necessary policy changes and protect future generations of children from abuse. We are proud of Jane Doe," the statement said.

An Archdiocese of Chicago spokeswoman said the church does not comment on litigation or settlements.

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