Former Catholic Counselor Pleads Guilty in Eight Sex Abuse Cases

Associated Press
May 5, 2004

A former Roman Catholic high school counselor already convicted of sexual abuse of a male student has pleaded guilty to eight more cases in Mobile.

Nicholas "Brother Vic" Bendillo entered the pleas Tuesday stemming from his tenure at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School.

In March, a jury convicted the 75-year-old Bendillo of enticing a child for immoral purposes and second-degree sex abuse.

Circuit Judge Robert Kendall sentenced Bendillo to serve a total of five years in prison for the two offenses.

Bendillo's attorney, Don Briskman, said his client pleaded guilty Tuesday with the understanding that should his client's February convictions be overturned during appeals to higher courts, Bendillo could withdraw them.

The pleadings involve four child enticement charges, which are felonies, and four counts of second-degree sex abuse, misdemeanors.

Briskman also said Kendall had agreed to hold up sentencing on the guilty pleas until the appeals process on the February convictions are exhausted.

Bendillo, a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a religious order of Catholic educators, worked at McGill-Toolen from 1959 until 1998.

Trial testimony indicated that Bendillo focused his sexual impulses on young men who had family troubles and no father figures, luring them into his trust first with academics, then personal counseling.

At sentencing, Bendillo told Kendall he was sorry in his "heart and soul ... for anything I have done out of order."


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