Religious Order Puts up Bail for 'Brother Vic'

By Gary McElroy
Mobile Register [Mobile AL]
May 1, 2003

When former Catholic educator Brother Nicholas Paul Bendillo, known as "Brother Vic," was arrested last week on sex abuse and related charges, he apparently did not have the money to pay his $15,000 in bonds.

Instead, the bond money -- covering two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes -- was paid by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic religious order of male educators.

No bail company was involved in the cash bond transaction.

Bendillo, a former teacher and academic adviser at McGill-Toolen High School, is a member of the religious order, his attorney, Donald Briskman, said Wednesday.

"Everyone in the order takes a vow of poverty," Briskman said. "I think that speaks for itself."

Brother Ivy LeBlanc, provincial of the New Orleans Province of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, said Wednesday his order took care of Bendillo's bond. Bendillo "would not have any resources of his own," LeBlanc said.

"One of the vows we take as a member of the religious community is the vow of poverty," LeBlanc said. "What that means is that as individuals we forego the ownership of assets and the earning of income and the like."

Any money that does come to the order is placed "in common," LeBlanc said.

Bendillo's arraignment has been scheduled for May 15.


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