Priest sexually abused boy at St. Charles Prep, student claims

By Tom Bosco
August 17, 2018

[with video]

The Columbus Catholic Diocese will reach out to alumni of St. Charles Preparatory high school after a lawsuit was filed last month by a former student who said he was sexually abused by a now-deceased priest.

The plaintiff in the civil case accuses Monsignor Thomas Bennett of sexually abusing him six times while the student was a freshman. The incidents are alleged to have happened on school property.

The diocese said they had no sexual complaints or allegations against Bennett during his decades-long service. Bennett taught at St. Charles from 1963 until shortly before his death in 2008.

The lawsuit claims the school and the diocese knew about the abuse and did nothing.

Advocates for sex abuse surviors noted that the clergy sex scandal has not exploded in Central Ohio as it has in other parts of the country, but it may just be a matter of time.

"We haven't heard from as many survivors as have been heard from in other locations," said Carol Zamonski, with SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "But I believe that's just a matter of time and opportunity."

She said it is difficult for survivors to come forward, but that is often the only way they can get justice.

"That's what has allowed the diocese in other places and the priests in other places being held accountable, is survivors coming forward," she said.

Last week the Pennsylvania attorney general exposed a 70-year cover-up in that state, implicating more than 300 priests in sexual abuse of more than 1000 children.


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