Former Priest Sentenced to Year in Jail

By Associated Press, carried in The Detroit News [Detroit MI]
March 4, 2003

DETROIT -- A former Roman Catholic priest who was accused of sexually abusing a boy in a decades-old case was sentenced Tuesday to a year in jail.

Harry Benjamin, 61, of Vienna, Va., also will serve four years of probation after his release, the Wayne County prosecutor's office said.

At his sentencing, Benjamin asked for "forgiveness from the God in whom I believe" and told Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards that he was "painfully aware of my many past faults, failings and sins."

The Canton Township man who lodged the abuse charges against Benjamin declined to speak in court, the Detroit Free Press reported on its Web site.

Benjamin, who once worked in the Archdiocese of Detroit, pleaded no contest in January to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct under an agreement with prosecutors. He had been charged with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

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