Ex-priest, diocese sued over alleged abuse

Bennington Banner

January 19, 2018

By Jim Therrien

A former priest with a history of sexually abusing boys and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, N.Y., are being sued over alleged abuse of an unnamed victim during incidents in Bennington County.

The suit was filed this week in Bennington Superior Court Civil Division by attorney Christopher Flint, of Cooper Erving & Savage, of Albany, on behalf of a victim referred to as John Doe. It seeks damages for the alleged long-term effects of incidents occurring an unspecified number of years ago when the plaintiff was a boy.

The former priest, Mark Haight, was one of several in the Albany Diocese involved in complaints of sexual abuse of minors, over which confidential settlement payments were made to victims by the diocese over a 25-year period, according to a New York Times report in 2002. At the time, the diocese had recently acknowledged that a number of settlements had been concluded.

Haight was involved in at least two settlement agreements involving complaints of sexual abuse of a minor. One settlement amount that was later made public involved a payment of $997,500, given in 1997 to an unnamed man who said he was abused by Haight over several years, beginning at age 12.

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