Four men who were repeatedly sexually abused as children by their Catholic religion teacher have received a settlement totaling $27.5 million from the Diocese of Brooklyn. The New York Times reports that the settlement is one of the largest ever awarded to individual sexual-abuse victims within the Catholic Church. The four were raped multiple times by 67-year-old Angelo Serrano, who was a “lay teacher of religion and the director of religious education” at Brooklyn’s St. Lucy’s-St. Patrick’s Church, according to the newspaper. The abuse occurred when the victims were between 8 and 12 years old and happened “inside the church,” specifically in Serrano’s apartment and during an “after-school program,” the victims’ lawyers told the Times. Two pastors at the church during Serrano’s tenure have been accused of knowing for years that boys slept over at the teacher’s apartment. Each of the four men, now between the ages of 19 and 21, will receive $6,875,000, lawyers told the newspaper. Serrano was arrested in 2009 for abusing several boys and pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual conduct charges in 2011. He is currently serving a 15-year sentence at Fishkill Correctional Facility.
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