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Jury sides with teacher fired by Catholic school after artificial insemination

Gary Landers / The Cincinnati Enquirer AP, file

FILE - This is a Dec. 2011 photo of Christa Dias holding her 11-month-old daughter in her Withamsville, Ohio home.

A Roman Catholic archdiocese in Ohio must pay nearly $200,000 to a teacher who alleged she was fired after school officials learned she became pregnant through artificial insemination, a federal jury decided on Monday.

Former computer instructor Christa Dias said she was removed from her post by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati in October 2010 after she told her superiors about her pregnancy.

A lawyer for Dias argued his client was fired because she was pregnant and unmarried.

A federal jury on Monday afternoon ruled that the archdiocese had in fact discriminated against Dias and that they must award her more than $170,000.

The sum includes $51,000 in back-pay, $20,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages, according to The Associated Press.

The attorney representing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati had argued that Dias was dismissed because artificial insemination breaches church doctrine as well as a contract mandating that school employees follow Catholic social principles, according to NBC station WLWT in Cincinnati.

Dias, who is not Catholic, had filed a lawsuit against the archdiocese and two of the organization’s schools. Per the jury’s ruling, the schools will not be liable for damages, according to the AP.