Ninth suit filed against Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese

Yet another civil lawsuit has been filed in the Blair County Court of Common Pleas alleging a priest of the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese sexually assaulted a choir member and an altar boy at a Clinton County Church years ago, and the diocese did nothing, despite having knowledge of the incident.
According to information supplied to The Daily Herald by Altoona attorney Richard Serbin, the latest lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 42-year-old Lock Haven man who claims he was assaulted when he was 7 or 8-years-old by Rev. Joseph Bender, now deceased.
The lawsuit claims Bender kissed, fondled and tried various sex acts on the child during field trips taken by the church.
The diocese did not return phone calls to The Daily Herald this morning.
This lawsuit brings the total filed against the diocese to nine, but includes 12 plaintiffs. It, like the others, seeks punitive and compensatory damages.