Former Lincoln Priest, a Convicted Sex Offender...

By Kurt Erickson
October 25, 2012

SPRINGFIELD -State regulators have ordered a former Catholic priest and convicted sex offender in Lincoln to stop the unlicensed practice of clinical psychology.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation found Francis A. Benham had been claiming he was a doctor who provides psychotherapy services when he had neither a doctorate degree nor a state license to practice as a clinical psychologist.

Records show Benham had business cards identifying him as a doctor and advertised himself in a local phone directory as a "psychotherapist."

The new citation, signed by agency director Jay Stewart, is the latest in a series of legal problems the 74-year-old has faced. Benham was arrested in Lincoln in July 2004 on sex charges and was extradited to Maryland where he was convicted of having sex with minors between 1977 and 1979 while serving as a priest in Prince Georges County.

He was released from prison in early 2006 and returned to Lincoln.

Benham was arrested again in February for failing to register as a sex offender.

Logan County court records show that case is scheduled to go to trial in November.

Benham could not be reached for comment and the telephone number at his office is no longer in service.



Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.