TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Diocese of Trenton and lawyers for five men who were abused by a New Jersey priest in the 1970s and 1980s say they have reached a seven-figure settlement.

The diocese says allegations against the Rev. Ronald Becker, who died in 2009, were found to be credible. The church will pay $200,000 to each of the victims, plus $25,000 to cover therapy costs.

Diocese spokeswoman Rayanne Bennett says Becker was sent to treatment in 1989 after a complaint was made, then defrocked in 2002.

The men say Becker molested them when they were 11 to 16 years old. Lawyers claim one boy was molested about 150 times.

Victims’ attorney Mitchell Garabedian calls the settlement a major positive step for the child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the church.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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