Fr. Thomas Behnke

Order: OCD
Ordained: 1949
Status: Settled

Died: 11/9/2008
Diocese: Diocese of Dallas TX

Full name Richard Thomas Behnke. Accused of sexually abusing at least six boys in several dioceses, all beginning when the boys were in about the sixth grade. There were at least two formal complaints to religious authorities, one in 1959 and another in 1963. The abuse is said to have occurred in parish rectories and on trips. Behnke organized religious retreats for boys under the age of 15 to Mexico, Japan, Ireland, Greece, and France. A suit filed in 10/2002 by a Dallas-area man alleged Behnke abused him as a boy at St. Mary of Carmel in Oak Cliff 1978-1980; Behnke denied charges. Per 2003 news, he was living at the Servants of the Paraclete treatment facility in Jemez Springs, NM. The Dallas Diocese denied sending him there and the Order wouldn’t comment. Five more plaintiffs joined the suit. Settled for $4.65M 10/2009. All but $500K of the settlement came from the Order. Also worked in OK. Died 11/9/2008. On the Dallas Diocese and San Antonio Archdiocese’s lists 1/31/2019. Accused in 2017 of abuse of a San Antonio boy in the 1970s. On Oklahoma City Archdiocese’s list 10/3/2019.

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