An 82-year-old priest from eastern Iowa has agreed to pay a legal settlement to several people who sued him, claiming he sexually abused them. This decision by Father Francis Bass comes a week after a Scott County jury ordered another former priest in the area, James Janssen, to pay his nephew two-million dollars for abuse the nephew suffered as a boy. In a statement filed today (Tuesday) in Clinton County, Bass apologized to anyone he may have harmed. Craig Levien is the attorney for several people who said Bass had sexually abused them, and he believes the jury’s action last week prompted Bass to settle. Levien says the signal from that jury was that justice may be a long time in coming, but it will ultimately prevail.Levien says Janssen refused to accept any responsibility, but Bass — by making the sworn statement — has acknowledged his actions. In his court statement, Bass said he concluded he probably wouldn’t win if the lawsuits went to court. The has agreed to pay his victims an undisclosed amount of money. Bass is still a priest, but the church does not allow him to portray himself as a priest in public. Bass worked at churches in the Davenport Diocese from 1948 ’til 1992.
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