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Seattle Archdiocese settles 8 sexual abuse cases in Whatcom, Skagit counties for $9.1 million

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SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Archdiocese says it will pay just over $9 million to eight women who were sexually abused as children by a former priest in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

The archdiocese said in a news release Wednesday that Michael Cody abused the girls between 1968 and 1974 at churches in Burlington, La Conner, Swinomish and Bellingham.

“I deeply regret the abuse by Michael Cody against these victims and I hope this monetary settlement, and the counseling we have provided them, will bring healing and give them a measure of closure so they can move forward,” said Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle. “It also is my hope that these individuals will accept my offer to meet with me so I can offer them my personal apology.”

The archdiocese agreed in May 2015 to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a Sedro-Woolley woman who said she was molested by Cody.

Cody died last year and hasn’t served as a priest since 1979. He was defrocked in 2005.

From the late 1980s through January 2016, the Seattle Archdiocese paid about $74 million in civil settlements for 392 claims of sexual abuse of minors.