Seattle Archdiocese settles sex abuse lawsuit

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Archdiocese will pay $635,000 to settle a sex abuse lawsuit that was heading for trial.

Rolfe Eckmann claimed he was abused in the mid-80s by Jim Funnell, who is a former youth minister at Saint John Vianney.

He says the Archdiocese hired Funnell without a background check at the same time that the church was implementing its sex abuse prevention policies.

"They certainly didn't handle it well when I was a child in the eighties," Eckmann said.

Eckmann says he fought inner demons and turned to drugs and suicide attempts as the years went on from the abuse as a teen. In the last few years he learned it all could have been stopped and church reform came too late. That's why he sued and why he believes the archdiocese settled out of court.

Greg Magnoni at the Archdiocese said in a statement: "Always glad to reach a settlement. Pleased that they reached a settlement that was fair and just. Glad to be able to bring closure to the victim."

Eckmann just wants more people to come forward and not be afraid to step from the shadows.

"I'm being taken seriously, and I'm being heard and I'm being believed," he said.