Diocese Review Board Clears Priest of Sex Charge

Associated Press
November 12, 2004

A Berkshire County priest has been cleared of a sexual molestation charge by the Springfield Diocese's Review Board.

Trina Cysz of Belchertown had accused the Rev. John Bonzagni of molesting her when she was a high school student preparing for her confirmation at St. Mary's Parish in Lee.

The church's review board, which investigates misconduct claims, said Cysz's claims were unsubstantiated.

Cysz had filed a lawsuit against the diocese regarding the allegation. Hers was one of 46 lawsuits settled in August for about $7.5 million.

The diocese has said that the settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing or substantiation of guilt.

Cysz's lawyer, John Stobierski, says his client stands by her story.

"Whether the review board found it unsubstantiated is immaterial," Stobierski told The Republican newspaper of Springfield. "Substantiation on any of these claims is a subjective viewpoint because in very few of these cases are there witnesses."

Bonzagni is a canon lawyer living in the rectory at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Lenox. He works on the church's tribunal that decides requests to annul marriages.


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