Father Gustavo Benson
Diocese of San Bernardino
Assigned as follows:
- 1973-1975: St. John Church (Encinitas, CA)
- 1976-1977: St. Mary Church (Oceanside, CA)
- 1978: Our Lady of Guadalupe (San Bernardino, CA)
- 1979-1983: San Salvador Church (Colton, CA)
- 1984: Immaculate Conception (Colton, CA)
- 1985-1987: St. Joseph Church (Barstow, CA)
- 1988-1991: On Duty Outside the Diocese
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Gustavo Benson:
According to media reports, in May 1987, Fr. Gustavo Benson was charged with sexually abusing an altar boy while he was serving at St. Joseph Church in Barstow, California. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to three years probation and counseling at a church program in New Mexico. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender and avoid contact with minors unless accompanied by another adult.
Benson was then transferred to a church in Ensenada, Mexico. He was assigned to San Judas Tadeo Church after Bishop Phillip Straling, informed Tijuana Bishop Emilio Berlie about Benson’s history of sexual abuse and that he should never have access to adolescents. Despite this knowledge, in August 1991, he was incardinated.
According to media reports, in a 2003 civil lawsuit, two men accused him of molesting them at a San Bernardino church. In 2004, Benson was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old altar boy while working at San Salvador Church in Colton in 1985. Another claim of sexual abuse at the hands of Benson was settled in 2010. The victim said he spent 20 years of his life on the streets hooked on meth and alcohol. At one point he said he tried to commit suicide.
In March 2007, his name was included in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. In October 2010, the Diocese of San Diego released his personnel file. Benson was still an active priest in Ensenada, Mexico at the time. He was ultimately removed from the priesthood. He was also included in the Diocese of San Bernardino’s list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse released in October 2018.
Benson was believed to be living in Tucson, Arizona as of 2017.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in San Bernardino, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.