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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2015

For more information:
Marlene Mulford: Office:(217) 698-8500
Cell: (217) 622-4996
Email:

News Advisory

SPRINGFIELD — A spokesperson for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is warning area residents to be aware of a convicted sexual predator and former priest who is listed on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.

Francis Alfred Benham, 78, lives in Lincoln according to his address listed on the statewide registry (see below link). He is described as a white male, 5 foot 10 inches, weighing 175 pounds.  He was convicted in the state of Maryland for aggravated criminal sexual assault of a minor. Benham was a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.  He has been removed from his clerical state and withdrawn from his duties and position by the Catholic Church. He is prohibited from presenting himself as a Catholic priest or exercising any functions of the ministry; however, he has been seen in the Springfield area posing as a priest.

His address in Lincoln is within the boundary of the Peoria diocese which borders the Diocese of Springfield on the north.

Link to Illinois Sex Offender Registry Entry: http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/offenderdetails.cfm?SORID=E06A2176&CFID=123038765&CFTOKEN=c1a2ee8187e1a98c-958CF1E8-9755-0DCE-9EAA1B126C893024&jsessionid=ec305cd01fe80cb6452f6783a5c6a592a366

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