Source AP ©

Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego to pay off from sexual abuse claims

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego will pay $198.1 million (144.64 million EUR) to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The agreement follows two days of intense talks before a federal magistrate judge between the diocese, attorneys and some of the alleged victims.

It caps more than four years of negotiations in state and federal courts and comes six months after the diocese abruptly filed for bankruptcy protection just hours before the first of 42 lawsuits alleging sex abuse was scheduled for trial.

The diocese has been under pressure to reach a settlement. It sought to shield its assets by declaring bankruptcy, but a judge recently threatened to dismiss the diocese's case if an agreement with sex abuse plaintiffs was not struck by Tuesday.