Ohio Supreme Court Sanctions Fired Federal Prosecutor Mark Bennett, finds “widespread” Misconduct, Use of “his position of power to sexually assault” an intern


  • Chief Justice Sharron Kennedy found Bennett’s “Suspension Is Necessary to Protect the Public”
  • Inspector General Report details two decades of wrongdoing, lying during government proceedings, Inspector General Report 21-055
  • Justice Department blamed Bennett for making false statements about evidence in a case involving voice recordings made by deceased whistleblower Dawn Pasela, 15-cv-242, WD Pa.
  • Bennett fondled an intern’s breasts, demanded nude photos and abused his authority as a prosecutor to solicit sex


The Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion sanctioning former federal prosecutor Mark Bennett for “widespread” wrongdoing, including his conditioning professional assistance to an intern on her willingness to provide sexual favors, Disciplinary Counsel v. Bennett, Slip Opinion No. 2023-Ohio-4752.  The Court’s ruling detailed instances of sexual assault, including Bennett placing his hand on the intern’s breasts, and utilized evidence from a forensic analysis of Bennett’s government computer to retrieve messages from Bennett stating he


  • “Can[’]t wait to have it,” in reference to the intern’s butt, which he informed her “was looking wide for a while there.” He later texted her, “Damn [you] for making me think about it again,” with “it” being a reference to sexual activity, then asked “Why do you haunt my dreams?”
  • Looked up a co-worker’s skirt or was “looking at [her] butt” on different occasions
  • Texted an intern about her sex life.  Even though Bennett was blocked on Snapchat, Facebook and even though his cell number was blocked, Bennett continued making unwanted sexual advances, causing the intern to relocate to an office 100 miles away.
  • When told to stop, Bennett refused, stating he could do whatever he wanted:  “Oh, I play poker with judges every Thursday and I’m so well connected.”


Chief Justice Sharron Kennedy wrote that “Bennett’s actions tainted the public trust. His conduct … undermined the credibility of and public faith in government, impeded the common good, and were not in the best interests of the American people ... he was also a representative of the United States and possessed all the powers that comes with that position. His actions demeaned both the legal profession and his government office.

The Department of Justice Inspector General also detailed serial wrongdoing by Bennett, including “physically and verbally harassing” women for two decades, demanding nude photos from colleagues, committing “sexual imposition”, insisted on “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.  Bennett also lied to investigators about utilizing 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.  Bennett falsely claimed he didn’t log onto social media sites from his government computer, saying 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.

In addition to the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling, builds on the earlier findings of a Department of Justice Inspector General Investigation, both the FBI and Justice Department also blamed Mark Bennett for making material misrepresentations about evidence in the criminal case of Anthony Viola, Viola v. U.S. Department of Justice, et. al., 15-cv-242, WD Pa, document numbers 99 and 164.  Viola was exonerated at a subsequent criminal trial but spent a decade in prison. 

Yale University Law School represents Viola in proceedings where Bennett concealed an affair between Assistant Ohio Attorney General Dan Kasaris and government witness Kathryn Clover, used Clover’s perjured testimony in criminal cases, and shifted exculpatory evidence before Viola's first trial from the US Attorney’s Office to a multi-jurisdictional task force location.  Viola v. Department of Justice, et. al., case number 22-2186, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. This litigation confirms that, prior to Viola’s first trial, Bennett directed his Office Manager, Dawn Pasela, to pose as a graduate student studying criminal justice and record a series of post-indictment conversations with Viola.  Ms. Pasela also donated finds towards Viola's legal fees so Bennett could use her cancelled check to identify the law firm's bank account and obtain confidential defense trial strategy information.  Later, Ms. Pasela came forward to assist Viola and provided him with exculpatory evidence Bennett failed to produce before the first trial.  During Viola’s second trial, she was threatened with prison and found dead in her apartment under suspicious circumstances, please see www.uncovered.com/cases/Dawn-Pasela.

All of the investigative reports, court decisions and admissions by Mark Bennett of wrongdoing have been uploaded to the FreeTonyViola.com Evidence Locker.  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 www.FreeTonyViola.com.  To learn more about Dawn Pasela, kindly visit www.JusticeForDawn.com.

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