More Suits Filed in Wake of Catholic Ex-Counselor's Conviction

Associated Press
May 27, 2004

Mobile, Ala. — Two lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese of Mobile following the sex-abuse conviction of Nicholas Paul "Brother Vic" Bendillo, a former counselor at a Roman Catholic high school.

One of the plaintiffs, Clark Glenn Jr., 27, of Lawrenceville, N.J., was the victim in Bendillo's criminal trial earlier this year. He was 14 at the time of the molestation. Bendillo was convicted in that case and sentenced to five years in prison by a judge who said he had never seen "a more cynical, selfish abuse of power."

Bendillo, 75, later pleaded guilty to eight more sex crimes, for which he has not yet been sentenced. A civil case with two previous plaintiffs was settled Dec. 24, 2003, for an undisclosed sum. Bendillo was released from jail on appeal bond and lives in a residential therapy center outside Alabama, his attorney said.

The plaintiff in the second suit, Darryl Seelhorst, of Mobile County, attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School between 1986 and 1989, according to his complaint.

The new lawsuits name as defendants Bendillo, the archdiocese, which oversees the school, and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, which is Bendillo's religious order.

Grey Redditt, a Mobile lawyer representing the church, said the two suits are the only new claims received so far regarding Bendillo. In the first civil action, a plaintiffs' lawyer claimed that another eight victims of Bendillo had contacted the firm, but it's not clear if the current plaintiffs were among them.


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