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Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C.Earlier this week, Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. filed lawsuits against Chicago Presbytery on behalf of seven men sexually abused by Presbyterian minister Douglas Mason in the early ‘80s and ‘90s. The two separately-filed lawsuits follow an earlier lawsuit that was settled in 2007 with four accusers bringing sexual abuse claims against Mason. Church officials disclosed to the Chicago Tribune last year that the previously confidential settlement amount totaled $11 million.

The first lawsuit filed this past Wednesday details abuse occurring between the years of 1982 and 1986 when Mason, who died in 2004, was a pastor at the church the three plaintiffs, now in their 40s, attended. At the time, the Presbytery encouraged pastors to counsel young men in private, despite warnings of Mason’s pedophile behavior.

The second suit involves four men in their late 30s who were abused by Mason while they were members of San Marcos Youth Ministry. The molestation began in the ‘90s when the victims attended St. Gregory the Great High School. The pastor paid a part of each plaintiff’s school tuition and made regular visits. He also checked them out of school at least once a month with the purpose of sexually abusing them. School administrators, at the time, did not notify the parents that the students were being checked out.

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