Archdiocese of Hartford settles sexual abuse allegations against former teacher, clergy member

WTIC - Fox 61 [Hartford CT]

May 5, 2021

[Includes clips of an audio interview with the survivor.]

New allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by a clergy member and former teacher at East Catholic High School in Manchester have been made against the Archdiocese of Hartford.

The allegations date back to the 1980s, and they come just two years after the Archdiocese paid out more than $50 million in sexual abuse settlement claims.

Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney for the victim, announced the allegations during a news conference Wednesday morning. He said his client – who is not identified – was allegedly sexually abused more than 100 times over a four-year period by the Rev. Kenneth Bonadies.

“Father Bonadies was a teacher (at East Catholic High School), he was the theater director, he was a Latin teacher, he was a director for the choir,” Garabedian said. “Father Bodanies sexually abused my client in an office in Manchester, Connecticut, in the rectory of St. Bartholomew’s Church in Manchester, Connecticut.”

The alleged abuse occurred between 1981 to 1985 when the victim – who is now 53 and still lives in Connecticut – was 14 to 17 years old.

He said stayed quiet for 40 years because of the shame it brought him.

“I didn’t really admit it to many people, and I would say that even the couple people I did admit it to, thought that I should stay quiet,” he said. “Probably out of a desire to protect me.”

The victim said he tried calling Bonadies to confront him on the abuse in 1989 but that the call never went anywhere.

“He didn’t really admit that he had done anything wrong. He said that he set a bad example or something,” he said. “He never really wanted to address the fact that he sexually abused me.”

According to Garabedian, no lawsuit was ever filed because it was outside the statute of limitations, and the claims were settled in mediation with his client receiving a six-figure payout.

The Archdiocese told FOX61 News that Bonadies was removed from ministry in 2018. As for the settlement, it said it does not comment on specific legal cases or settlements.