Father Gustavo Benson
Diocese of San Diego
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 Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Gustavo Benson:
Father Gustavo Benson was ordained a priest in 1972, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of San Diego. According to media reports, in May 1987, he was charged with sexually abusing an altar boy while serving at St. Joseph Church in Barstow. 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.
Father 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 Father Benson’s history of sexual abuse and that he should never have access to adolescents. Despite this knowledge, in August 1991, he was incardinated.
In a 2003 civil lawsuit, two men accused him of molesting them at a San Bernardino church. In 2004, Father 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 Father 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. Father 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.
Gustavo Benson is believed to be living in Playas de Chapultepec, Ensenada, Baja California in Mexico as of 2022.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Diego in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Diego now have legal options due to a temporary change in the law, 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 California and nationwide. We can help.