Second Man Claims Priest Sexual Abuse (video)

By Laura Hutchinson

November 18, 2008

[with video]

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WATKINS GLEN - A second Southern Tier man is claiming he was sexually abused by a priest in Watkins Glen.

The first man to come forward, Jason Hartley of Chemung County, is suing the Diocese of Rochester for failing to protect him; but the law is preventing the second victim from doing the same.

The statute of limitations in New York says when you're sexually abused as a minor, you can't sue until you're 18 year old, but you only have until you're 21 to file a suit.

An attorney dealing with both claims tells me the second victim is 23, and it's too late for a lawsuit.

It’s been a week since attorney John Hayes made this public announcement outside of St. Mary of the Lake Church, claiming his client, Jason Hartley, was sexually abused by the late Father David Bonin.

Hartley claims it was in the priest’s rectory that he was abused for years; just a few feet away from where a second victim, who has just come forward, says the same priest abused him.

“He said it just built up to the point where yesterday [Monday] he realized he had to call me and offer to do anything he could to help,” Hayes said.

Hayes admits he was also abused by a priest at the same church, and also came forward too late for a lawsuit. But he says the second man can now testify in Hartley's lawsuit to have his voice heard.

“In silence you really suffer. I know that from my own personal experience; it’s far better to be out there, have people know what happened to you and get to work on it,” Hartley added.

The Diocese of Rochester says once these allegations came to light, they contacted the parishioners whom Father Bonin had served, to let them know how to report sexual abuse.

They’ve also been in contact with Attorney Hayes to help his clients.


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