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Tribal members settle abuse cases against Mormon church

FILE - In this June 7, 2016, file photo, David Clohessy, center, of the National Director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and attorneys, Billy Keeler, left, and Craig Vernon, for a Utah resident who was abused as a youth at the ward pictured, speak on his behalf and other survivors of childhood sexual abuse from the Lamanite (Indian) Placement Program in Salt Lake City. Four Native Americans who claimed they were sexually abused while enrolled in a now-defunct Mormon church foster program decades ago have filed paperwork to dismiss their cases after reaching financial settlements. Vernon, an attorney who represented the tribal members, says the terms are confidential and include no admission of wrongdoing. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)

Flagstaff, Ariz. • A lawyer says four American Indians who claimed they were sexually abused while enrolled in a now-defunct Mormon church foster program decades ago have filed paperwork to dismiss their cases after reaching financial settlements.

Craig Vernon, an attorney who represented the tribal members, says the terms are confidential and include no admission of wrongdoing.

Allegations have been made against the church by more than a dozen tribal members from the Navajo Nation and Crow Tribe of Montana.

Four cases recently were settled, three were settled last year and others reached agreements out of court.

One case remains in Washington state.

A spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Eric Hawkins, declined comment. He says the settlement agreement prohibits any discussion about the terms.

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