Norwich Diocese agrees to pay $1.1 million to settle abuse case

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HARTFORD – Lawyers for a Massachusetts woman announced that the Catholic Diocese of Norwich and Bishop Daniel Reilly have settled a lawsuit brought as a result of sexual abuse by a priest for $1.1 million.

Attorneys Kelly Reardon and Robert Reardon Jr. said the settlement came a day before the case was set to go to trial in Hartford Superior Court.

“Jane Doe #2,” as she was identified in court documents, was molested about  60 times from age 3 to 16 by Father Thomas Shea, according to the law firm.

Shea was a parish priest in the diocese and was accused by at least 15 girls of molestation from the 1960s to the 1980s, said the lawyers in a statement.

“Jane Doe #2” said Shea French kissed her, fondled her and touched her inappropriately. The woman suffered PTSD, anxiety and depression, according to her law firm. The firm also said the victim and her family complained to church officials who did not take action.

Lawyers on both sides sat down for mediation for the settlement for three days, starting last Wednesday. The diocese and Bishop Daniel Reilly were represented by Gary Kaisen of Milano and Wanat in Branford and Wesley Horton of the Hartford firm of Horton, Knox and Shields.

Reardon had previously represented another victim in a suit against the diocese and Bishop Reilly that was settled for $1.1 million in 2013.