sexual abuse settlement

DOJ reaches a historic settlement against a landlord accused of sexually exploiting tenants

A New Jersey landlord has agreed to pay $4.5 million in damages to resolve a lawsuit alleging he demanded sexual favors from tenants and applicants so they could keep or receive housing, the Justice Department announced in a news release Tuesday.

The settlement, which still has to be approved by the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, is the largest monetary settlement the Justice Department has ever obtained in a case involving sexual harassment in housing, the release said.

“This lawsuit and historic settlement send a clear message that the Department will not stand by idly as landlords abuse their power to prey on vulnerable tenants,” 

Seattle archdiocese settles sexual abuse lawsuit for $725,000

Seattle’s Catholic archdiocese has agreed to pay a Washington woman $725,000 as part of an early dispute resolution to her lawsuit alleging that an unidentified employee repeatedly sexually abused her at the Catholic school she attended in Bellevue more than four decades ago.

“Even though we filed the lawsuit, the archdiocese’s lawyers agreed to interview my client, and once they heard her and understood the nature of what happened, they didn’t have any doubt that this occurred,” said Darrell Cochran, the woman’s attorney. “They accepted it and moved forward to do the right thing.”

Columbia University agrees to $71 million sexual abuse settlement

Columbia University announced a settlement Wednesday with dozens of women who say their former gynecologist, Robert Hadden, abused them while he was their doctor. The $71.5 million settlement was reached with 79 women.

Claims by dozens of other patients have not been settled.

In 2014, New York State prosecutors filed criminal charges against Hadden for sexual assault involving six women. In 2016, he agreed to plead guilty to two individual counts of a criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching. The plea deal included no jail time and a downgrade in sex-offender status to the lowest level — meaning he is not listed in New York State’s online sex offender registry.

In September 2020, federal prosecutors unveiled new charges in six cases in which patients traveled between states for their appointments with him, but prosecutors alleged in the indictment that Hadden also assaulted “dozens of female patients, including multiple minors” between 1993 and 2012. Hadden has not been charged in connection with those other patients.

Federal prosecutors added a new count in July. Each of the seven counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said that Hadden assaulted victims over the course of nearly two decades “under the guise of conducting purported gynecological and obstetric examinations.”

Hadden entered a not guilty plea to all charges in the case.

The allegations against Hadden received renewed attention last year after Evelyn Yang, whose husband Andrew sought the Democratic nomination for president, said in an interview with CNN that Hadden had assaulted her.

Boy Scouts Draw Plan to Settle With Sex-Abuse Victims, Exit Bankruptcy. Here’s What We Know.

The Boy Scouts of America is pushing to exit bankruptcy after seeking chapter 11 protection last year from sex-abuse claims. The bankruptcy case, which spotlighted past failures by the organization to protect children, may be nearing its end as a settlement offer gains momentum. The youth group has said it needs to make peace with sex-abuse victims for its mission to survive.

Here’s what you should know about the chapter 11 case, the largest ever filed over sexual abuse, and what could happen next.

Sex-abuse claims dogged the Boy Scouts for years, especially after a court-ordered release in 2012 of internal files on reports of abuse by volunteers. The youth group turned to bankruptcy when states including New York, New Jersey and California suspended statutes of limitations on abuse claims, opening the door to lawsuits alleging childhood trauma regardless of when it happened.

Harvey Weinstein Accusers Agree to $17 Million Settlement

Some 40 women will participate in the bankruptcy court agreement, though others who have sued Mr. Weinstein and accused him of sexually abusing them have objected to the terms and are considering an appeal.

Nearly four years after the first claims against Harvey Weinstein made their way into the court system, some of the many women who sued him on sexual assault and sexual harassment grounds may be close to getting financial compensation.

On Monday, a bankruptcy court judge in Delaware confirmed the settlement deal, clearing the way for dozens of women who say they were sexually assaulted or harassed by Mr. Weinstein to receive a portion of the $17 million victims fund, largely by ending their civil claims against him.

“Eighty-three percent of the victims have expressed very loudly that they want closure through acceptance of this plan,” the bankruptcy judge, Mary F. Walrath, said in a hearing. Nearly 40 women voted last month to accept the terms of the settlement, which would allow their claims to be evaluated and paid out using a point system, potentially putting an end to a lengthy and anguishing process to determine how the numerous women who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual misconduct might find restitution.

Mr. Weinstein, 68, was sentenced last March to 23 years in prison after being convicted of rape and another felony sex crime in a criminal trial in New York.

“My clients are so relieved,” said Genie Harrison, a lawyer who represents five women who voted to be part of the settlement. “They wanted an outcome, not another promise of years of additional litigation, with them being the targets — and that’s the way cases like this are.” Some women could stand to receive five-figure payouts from the fund, which was set aside — and then whittled down — as part of a liquidation plan after the Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy in 2018.

Lawyers for the Weinstein Company did not respond to emails and voice messages.

The settlement agreement offers different payment levels to women based on whether they want to release Harvey Weinstein from any future lawsuits.

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