Former Federal Prosecutor Mark Bennett’s Two Decades of misconduct, sexual assault and lies Detailed in Inspector General Report

  • Demanded “a sexual relationship” with an intern
  • Forensic review of Bennett’s computer proved he lied to investigators
  • Decades of sexual assault, including at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Weston Hurd law firm
  • Bennett sent topless photos from “his bathroom”
  • Full report and all documents available in the Evidence Locker


Mark Bennett “physically and verbally harassed” women for two decades, demanded nude photos from colleagues, committed “sexual imposition” and lied to investigators about using his government laptop to solicit sex from colleagues, according to Justice Department’s Inspector General Report 21-055.  This same investigation also established that Bennett demanded “a sexual favor in exchange for a letter of recommendation” for an intern because he was excited about the “size” of her “buttocks.”  Bennett was caught “deliberately running his arm across the breast,” of a colleague and purchased jewelry for married co-workers, while a forensic analysis of Bennett’s computer proved he lied to investigators and revealed additional instances of misconduct inside the Justice Department.

Federal prosecutors routinely prosecute American citizens for lying to federal investigators, but Bennett’s lies did not result in a prosecution by the Department of Justice.  Quite the opposite -- the US Attorney’s Office in Cleveland (including former US Attorney Steven Dettelbach and current Assistant US Attorney Renee Bacchus) enabled Bennett’s lies for years by defending him in court against claims that he committed misconduct.  According to AUSA Bacchus, such claims were not only false but constituted “harassment,” Viola v. Bennett, et. al., case numbers 1:17-cv-456 and 1:21-cv-1196, N.D. Ohio   In addition, former US Attorney and now ATF head Steven Dettelbach gave Bennett an award for prosecutorial excellence for his "tenacious" work on mortgage-fraud prosecutions.

Bennett resigned during the Inspector General investigation, then registered a law office in 2020 in northern Ohio, but a review of his new website confirms that Bennett continues to lie at his new law firm, as his website contains materially false information.  For instance, Bennett claims he is an “adjunct professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, teaching advanced brief writing and appellate advocacy skills,” when such is not the case, according to Carolyn Broering-Jacobs Associate Dean for Administration at Marshall.

Bennett also engaged in sexually predatory behavior and made materially false statements during the criminal prosecution of Tony Viola by covering up an affair between Prosecutor Daniel Kasaris and government witness Kathryn Clover, directing his Office Manager Dawn Pasela to illegally record Viola’s defense trial preparation, knowingly utilizing perjured testimony to obtain convictions, shifting exculpatory evidence before Viola's first trial from the US Attorney’s Office to a multi-jurisdictional task force location, and lying about the existence of a "conflict of interest" waiver.  The Inspector General Report ties Mark Bennett’s misconduct to the Task Force, where an employee of the “task force” asked to be reassigned to a different job as a result of Bennett’s predatory behavior.

The Inspector General’s Report confirmed that Bennett utilized a myriad of social media platforms to troll women on line – Bennett used Snapchat, Facebook messenger, Twitter, Skype messages and other means to solicit sex, then lied to investigators about his actions, claiming he didn’t log onto social media sites from his government computer.  Bennett told investigators he “completely avoided those sites” because he feared his computer could be infected with “viruses.” A forensic analysis of Bennett’s computer showed he logged into Facebook and Twitter “more than 25 times” and made a number of false statements to investigators.  Despite denials, the IG confirmed the married Mark Bennett “purchased a pair of earrings and two necklaces for” a married associate and asked a different female employee “if she was married” and if her husband would give her a “pass” and “permit her to have an affair.”  Bennett’s behavior even ruined a retirement party for a coworker because, while there, he solicited sex from “a waitress” then decided to “slap her buttocks” as she departed.

 As a result of the Inspector General’s Report, the Ohio Disciplinary Counsel filed charges against Bennett, Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio, No. 2022-034.  In his answer, Bennett admitted all of the allegations set forth in the complaint, which now goes before a three-member panel, tasked with weighing whether there was an attorney rule violation.  A hearing has been set for February 3, 2023 and the panel’s decision will be reviewed by the full board, and ultimately, the Ohio Supreme Court.

“The actions of the US Attorney’s in Cleveland are a total disgrace,” said Tony Viola.  “Mark Bennett was allowed to break the law and use illegal tactics to prosecute innocent American citizens.  Law enforcement tells the public that when you see something, say something.  Not here, though.  FBI Agents and federal prosecutors stood idly by while Bennett imprisoned innocent people and received awards for prosecutorial excellence.  Our efforts to have Mark Bennett prosecuted are continuing.  We are asking for the public’s support, either by signing our petition on or by providing any information you have about Bennett’s criminal activities to our investigative team.”

 To learn more about how Tony Viola proved his innocence at a second trial using evidence Mark Bennett suppressed before his first trial, or for additional details about misconduct committed by Mark Bennett in mortgage fraud prosecutions, please visit  That website has a link to the petition on with nearly 5,000 signatures as well as a “contact us” page to submit leads to the investigative team, led by former FBI Agent Robert Friedrick.

# # #