The complaint was filed in 2012. It came after religion teacher Angelo Serrano — now 67 years old — was arrested in 2009 for molesting a child, for which he pleaded guilty in 2011 and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
According to Rubinowitz, the diocese agreed to pay after trying to distance itself from Serrano, who was employed by the little parish of St Lucy-St Patrick, but not a priest.
A church priest, also targeted by the complaint, admitted to having seen Serrano one day kiss a child on the mouth, but never addressed the abuse, said another of the lawyers Peter Saghir.
“They decided that, rather than risk a trial, that it was time for them to make a payment.”
According to the website BishopAccountability.org, the previous record for an individual compensation was $3.4 million and was paid to the two victims of Matthew Maiello of New York.
News of the settlement came as several US states, worried by a report in August detailing decades of sexual abuse involving more than 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania, are looking into historic abuse cases in their own jurisdictions.
The Church was also rocked by the resignation in July of US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, an influential ex-bishop of Washington.
He was accused of sexually abusing a teenager while working as a priest in New York in the early 1970s.