Lawsuit: Church pressured victims into unfair settlements

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NEW YORK (AP) — Two impoverished Mississippi men who say they were sexually assaulted by Franciscan missionaries filed a federal lawsuit Thursday claiming that Catholic officials pressured them into signing settlements that paid them little money and required them to remain silent about the alleged abuse.

The lawsuit was filed in New York by two cousins, La Jarvis Love, of Senatobia, Mississippi, and Joshua Love, of Greenwood, Mississippi, black men from the Mississippi Delta. The men say they were abused by two Franciscan brothers when they were in a Catholic grade school in Greenwood, Mississippi. The suit says one of the friars also abused them during a trip to New York.

Accusations made by the Love cousins and Joshua’s younger brother, Raphael, were first reported by The Associated Press in August.

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