Father David L. Bonin – Diocese of Rochester

Father David L. Bonin
Diocese of Rochester

Ordained: Unknown
Death: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • 1989-2001: St Mary’s of the Lake Roman Catholic Church, Watkins Glen, NY

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father David L. Bonin:

In 2008, a 21-year-old man filed suit against the Diocese of Rochester and Bishop Matthew Clark alleging that Father David L. Bonin abused him weekly from 1998-2001 when he was ages 9-12.

According to the victim, between 1996-2001, he was a parishioner at St Mary’s of the Lake Roman Catholic Church in Watkins Glen, New York.

Beginning in 1998, when the victim was about 9 ½ to ten years old, and until 2001, the victim spent almost every Friday night and occasional Saturday nights in the rectory with Bonin. Whenever he spent nights in the rectory, he would sleep overnight there, where alcohol was readily available to the victim, and he consumed it almost every night he was there.

Bonin Grooms the Victim Every Weekend

According to the victim, virtually every time he spent nights in the rectory, Father Dave would engage in a somewhat ritualistic routine with him: Bonin often would sit on the couch or a chair and have the victim sit across from him in the chair or on a sofa.  While the victim was sitting across from Bonin, he would have him raise his legs so Bonin could rub them. After rubbing the victim’s legs, or sometimes his back, Bonin would eventually motion for him to stand in front of him.

Bonin would kiss the victim on the face and on the lips and massage his body and hug the victim close to him. Then, Bonin would drop the victim’s pants and underwear down around his knees. After lowering the victim’s pants and underwear, Bonin would touch and rub the victim’s testicles and penis.

When Bonin masturbated the victim, the priest would catch the ejaculate in one of his hands and then rub it on the victim’s legs, pants, and underwear. After Bonin’s ritual, the victim would pull up his pants and walk away from the priest.

The victim would go to the liquor cabinet and find alcohol to drink to make him feel better.

The Abuse Continues Even After Bonin Admits it’s Not Right

After around a month and a half or two months of this behavior by Bonin, he told the victim; “This isn’t right. It has to stop.”

But it didn’t stop.

The victim understood that Bonin’s actions were something that could not be shared with anyone.

After the first allegations were made public, a second individual also made allegations against Bonin while Bonin was assigned to St. Mary’s on the Lake at the time.  The second victim alleged he was molested by Bonin in the rectory at St. Mary’s and also in hotel rooms on trips he made with the priest and others. He was 8 or 9 years old when the abuse began, and it lasted about three years, he said.

Bonin died in 2002 before allegations were made against him.

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Rochester.  The Diocese of Rochester in New York filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019. Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss a potential lawsuit and your other options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the Rochester Diocese.  

Very strict filing deadlines have now been set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today.    Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.