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California Briefing | UPLAND

Bishop is found guilty of cover-up

June 27, 2008|From the Associated Press

An Episcopal bishop was found guilty by a church panel of covering up his brother's assaults of a teenage girl in the 1970s at a church in Upland.

Charles E. Bennison Jr., 64, was convicted of two counts of engaging in conduct unbecoming of a member of the clergy, according to his attorneys and the church verdict, dated Tuesday and released Thursday. He could be reprimanded, suspended or ousted from the church.

The victim, now 50, testified during a four-day ecclesiastical trial this month in Philadelphia that the abuse by the bishop's brother, John Bennison, happened three to four times a week for several years.

At the time, Charles Bennison was rector of St. Mark's Church in Upland, in the Diocese of Los Angeles, and his brother was a married lay minister there. John Bennison, who never faced criminal charges, left the priesthood two years ago.

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