NEW YORK (AP) — The Christian Brothers have agreed to pay more than $16 million to people who were molested as children by members of the U.S. religious order.

The settlement was announced Thursday by attorneys for the Roman Catholic group and for more than 400 victims.

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The Christian Brothers staffed schools and worked in dioceses in parts of the United States, including California, Hawaii, Illinois, New York and New Jersey, as well as in Canada.

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Two groups that hold Christian Brothers’ assets sought federal bankruptcy protection in the face of the claims. A judge must approve the agreement.

A Christian Brothers leader calls the concessions painful but necessary to protect children. Attorney Jeff Anderson says victims are seeking an independent audit of personnel records to make public any other records of abuse.

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