Diocese of Knoxville settles lawsuit brought forward by former student

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Diocese of Knoxville said Tuesday it has settled a lawsuit brought forth by a man named Michael Boyd in July 2019 that named two now-deceased priests.

The settlement will be covered by insurance, according to the diocese, however, the organization maintains the settlement “as an act of pastoral outreach and without admitting any wrongdoing.”

“Despite my personal feelings regarding the claim which names two now-deceased priests, I hope that this action offers Mr. Boyd a path to peace and reconciliation,” said Bishop Richard T. Stika in the settlement release.

RELATED: Sexual abuses by Catholic priests in Knoxville during the 1990s alleged in new lawsuit

The allegations were first brought forward in 2018, alleging sexual abuse by multiple priests in the early 1990s. The lawsuit was filed in July 2019 in Knox County Circuit Court by Boyd’s attorneys.

On Tuesday, the Diocese of Knoxville said when the diocese was first presented with the allegations, officials immediately contacted state authorities and also turned over materials made available by Boyd to an independent criminal defense attorney not connected to the Diocese of Knoxville or its Diocesan Review Board.

The release also stated the diocese also encouraged Boyd to file a report with law enforcement.

The settlement is not expected to impact the diocesan budget or its charitable missions.

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