Report: Catholic clergy abuse claims drop in US - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Report: Catholic clergy abuse claims drop in US

UNDATED (WKOW) -- Sex abuse by priests within the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. may be tapering off, according to the latest annual report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The figures show the number of abuse victims, allegations and offending clergy in the U.S. dropped in 2009 to the lowest number since data started being collected in 2004.

The report identifies 398 allegations of abuse involving clergy, down 36 percent from 2008. Most cases involved preteen or teen males and incidents that were decades old.

Diocese and their insurers paid $104 million in settlements, attorneys' fees and other abuse-related costs in 2009, down from $376 million in 2008.

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