Verdicts against Vt. diocese now top $12 million

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A new $3.6 million verdict against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vermont in a priest sex abuse trial brings to more than $12 million the money the church owes in a series of similar law suits – and it still has 25 more to go.

Nineteen of those suits involve retired priest Edward Paquette, who is accused of molesting boys while serving in parishes in Rutland, Montpelier and Burlington during the 1970s.

A judge already has placed a lien against the diocesan headquarters in Burlington. The property overlooking Lake Champlain is valued at more than $11 million.

More church property is expected to be given similar treatment as a result of Wednesday’s verdict.

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