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The Catholic Diocese of Savannah has announced a $4.24 million settlement with a 40-year-old man who says he was sexually abused by a former priest.

The Diocese said in a statement Wednesday that the settlement was to avoid the expense and burden of a lengthy trial.

Savannah native Allan Ranta filed a civil suit in Jasper County, S.C., in 2008 saying he was molested by former priest Wayland Y. Brown from 1978 to 1983.

Ranta was 10- to 14- years old and a student at St. James Catholic School when the alleged abuse occurred. He claimed the Diocese ignored signs Brown posed a danger to children.

Brown was convicted in 2003 for sexually abusing two Maryland boys nearly 30 years earlier.

He was released in April 2008 after serving half of his sentence.

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