Episcopal Priest Robert Malm Set to Be Deposed in Perjury Lawsuit
Aug 23, 2021
Bourne, MA (Law Firm Newswire) August 23, 2021 – Robert Malm, an Episcopal priest sued for defamation, abuse of process, and perjury, is slated to provide a video deposition later this month.
Malm, canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, faces a number of lawsuits after bringing a civil suit against former parishioner Eric Bonetti, in which he accused Bonetti of threatening him and Grace Episcopal Church, located in Alexandria VA.
Among Malm’s accusations was that a blog, published by Bonetti’s late mother, was an act of “domestic terrorism,” due to its use of the word “suicide,” and its use of the phrase “psychological torture.”
Bonetti, a retired attorney, has noted that the use of the word “suicide” was in a social media post from a college-aged parishioner, which urged Bonetti to commit suicide.
“The phrase ‘psychological torture’ was in an article, written by a mental health professional, which described the effects of Malm’s misuse of office,” said Bonetti. “No rational actor would conclude that this, or the use of the word ‘suicide’ in Mom’s blog, was a threat. Indeed, no rational actor would conclude that anything about Mom’s blog was threatening,” he added.
Bonetti has also accused Malm of lying under oath by claiming that Bonetti’s late mother, Sigrid Yahner, or someone purporting to be her, contacted Malm repeatedly to set up appointments, only to cancel.
“Not only did this simply not happen, but Malm later denied committing perjury, even telling the Massachusetts courts that he didn’t so much as know Mom’s name,” said Bonetti. “Yet his original fabrication expressly refers to her as ‘Sigrid Yahner.’ No matter how many word salads his attorney puts together, I believe it is clear that Malm lied under oath, both in the Virginia litigation and in the Massachusetts litigation.”
In the various cases, Malm has steadfastly refused to specify the language he believes is threatening, while claiming to have forgotten other specifics central to the case.
“What is truly mind-boggling is that neither the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, nor the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, is willing to independently investigate Malm’s conduct,” said Bonetti. “That begs that question: Why even have a bishop and a church hierarchy if they are not willing to ensure that the denomination acts with integrity? We can only hope that a different approach pertains when it comes to child abuse and other allegations of criminal conduct,” he added.
Bonetti is a retired attorney and part of the first same-sex couple married at Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria, VA, where Malm served until his retirement.
Malm presently serves as Interim rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church-on-the-Canal, located in Bourne MA.
Bonetti maintains a petition on change.org, located at https://www.change.org/abusivebobmalm