Orthodox church's insurer settles abuse claim

Associated Press/December 14, 2006

Blanco, Texas A man who says he was abused as a teenager by monks at a Blanco monastery has settled a lawsuit against the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The church's insurance company settled the claim yesterday.

Church attorney Lin Hughes says the settlement includes an undisclosed payment to the plaintiff, James Wright Junior.

Wright sued the church along with San Antonio-businessman-turned-monk Samuel Greene Junior. Two other monks and a nonprofit founded by Greene were also named in the lawsuit.

Wright alleged he was sexually abused about a decade ago at the Christ of the Hills monastery after being sent there as a teenager for "acting out."

The monastery was allied with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. But the church broke ties when allegations of indecency by Greene with an 11-year-old studying at the monastery surfaced.

Greene pleaded guilty in 2000 to indecency and was sentenced to probation. He was arrested again in July on charges of sexual assault of a child.

Authorities raided the monastery looking for evidence in the case over the summer. They seized a Mary and Jesus icon said to cry tears of myrrh _ a draw for thousands of visitors.

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