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More alleged victims delay report on sex abuse by priests in New Brunswick

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MONCTON, N.B. - A former judge says his final report on sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the Moncton, N.B., area will be delayed until at least March because more alleged victims have come forward.

Michel Bastarache was hired last year by the archdiocese of Moncton to conduct a reconciliation and compensation process for alleged victims of sexual abuse involving a former priest from Cap-Pele.

The confidential process has since been expanded to hear complaints about any priests from the diocese.

Bastarache said he has already approved payments to about 50 people, ranging from $15,000 to $300,000 each.

"All of those that I interviewed have accepted my offer and I'm continuing to make the payments to those people," Bastarache said Monday in an interview from his office in Ottawa.

The allegations that have been made have not been proven in a court.

The former Supreme Court of Canada justice says about 10 more people have decided to participate in the process including some people who had previously opted to take legal action.

"The archbishop is very much in favour of that," Bastarache said. "He doesn't want to close the door to anyone because they are late in the process."

He said the process to determine compensation looks at many factors to determine the impact on the lives of the alleged victims.

"How old the victim was, how many times it happened, what were the acts of aggression, and then during the interviews I have access to medical files, psychological files, things like that," he said.

In December, the Moncton diocese announced it had removed two priests from any ministry work following allegations of sexual abuse of children.

Bastarache informed the archdiocese of the accusations after hearing them during his reconciliation and compensation process.

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