Father David G Bentley
Diocese of Albany
Assigned as follows:
- Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Albany, NY)
- St. Teresa of Avila (Albany, NY)
- Sacred Heart (Sidney, NY)
- St. James (Albany, NY)
- Albany Medical Center Hospital (Albany, NY)
- St. Margaret May (Albany, NY)
- St. Brigid’s Church (Copake Falls, NY)
- Cardinal McCloskey High School (Albany, NY)
- Vincentian Institute High School (Albany, NY)
- St. Peter’s Hospital (Albany, NY)
- Holy Family Catholic Church (Deming, NM) – recalled back to Albany
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father David G Bentley:
According to media reports, in 1986, Fr. David G Bentley admitted to the Diocese of Albany that he sexually abused a child after someone outside the church contacted him with a complaint of sexual abuse. He was sent to a Catholic-run treatment center. After several months he was deemed “fit” to return to the priesthood and he was reassigned to a hospital ministry in the Capital Region “under supervised conditions”. With permission from the Diocese of Albany, he later worked for the Franciscan fathers in Ohio and Africa.
In 1994, the Diocese of Albany paid a confidential $150,000 settlement to a man who accused Bentley of sexually abusing him and his siblings in the 1970s when they lived at the Albany Home for Children, now Parsons Child and Family Center. The victim said Father Bentley molested him “hundreds of times”. The abuse started when he was ten years old, and occurred when they were on outings and weekends away from the home. He claimed that Father Bentley not only molested him but also used him as a “share toy” and permitted other priests to sexually abuse him. The abuse continued for eight years.
In 1997, the Diocese of Albany paid a $70,000 settlement to his brother. The third brother received an unspecified amount. In 1998, Bentley was sent to the Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico. In 2000, he was assigned to a small parish in Deming, New Mexico, under the Diocese of Las Cruces.
Bentley’s victim who received a settlement in 1994, contacted the church again in April 2002. He said he was intent on learning his other abusers’ identities and whether they were still priests. Bentley was removed from ministry that month.
At the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese headquarters, the victim confronted Bentley. “Many days I just want to be dead, just dead, even around my family. For all these things I feel so angry. You harmed me so badly, it hurts, to my core,” the victim said.
The Diocese of Albany paid Bentley’s victim $75,000 in May. In July, Bishop Hubbard sent him a letter, apologizing for the “great harm” he “sustained as the result of sexual misconduct by representatives of the Church.” He was paid another $150,000 in August, followed by a promise of $25,000 a year for the next five years, church officials confirmed.
In May 2005, another alleged victim came forward, claiming he was one of four brothers victimized by Bentley. The incidents occurred from 1982 through 1986 in Albany, Schenectady, and on Bentley’s boat in Boston Harbor and on Saratoga Lake, the alleged victim said. Due to the statute of limitations in New York already expired, the victim pursued the case in Massachusetts.
“Starting at age 11, Bentley abused me and raped me in the worst possible way,” he said. “I’m a lost soul, as I put it, a lost soul trying to find answers without dealing with a priest because I’m petrified of them,” he said.
In July 2018, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Diocese of Las Cruces by a man who claimed he was sexually abused as a child by Bentley and another priest in Deming, New Mexico. The man served as an altar boy at Holy Family Catholic Church throughout his childhood and alleges that he was sexually abused by the two priests on hundreds of occasions between 1994 and 2001, beginning when he was nine years old.
In November 2018, Bentley’s name first appeared publicly on the Diocese of Albany’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.
It is believed Bentley lives with relatives near Syracuse, New York.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Albany in New York. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Albany now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.