Priest Gets Suspended Sentence for Sexual Abusing Boys

Tuam Herald [Ireland]
July 26, 2006

A 71-year-old priest who sexually abused four pupils at Gormanston College in Meath has escaped a prison sentence.

Ronald Bennett, of Dun Mhuire, Seafield Road in Killiney, a spiritual advisor at the school, pleaded guilty to the six sample charges of indecent assault against him.

The abuse took place between 1974 and 1981 when Fr Bennett would call the victims over the intercom to his office, which they entered when the light outside turned green.

Judge Desmond Hogan handed down a five-year suspended sentence stating that the Franciscan Order had put in place a code of practice for him to adhere to.

The judge said the priest was under open house arrest and he didn't want to interfere with that.


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