A state panel is considering possible sanctions against a former Assistant U.S. Attorney accused of making inappropriate sexual comments and texts to a former intern who says she asked to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Youngstown office to avoid his alleged advances.

According to a complaint filed by the Ohio Board of professional conduct, a former intern identified only as J.S. was a 24-year-old law student in 2017 when she started her seven-month internship with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Akron.

The former intern told investigators that she believed that former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Bennett would try to look up her skirt and was told by a fellow intern that Bennett had made sexually inappropriate comments about her.

She claims Bennett had conversations with her about his married sex life and would ask her about her sex life, suggesting he could be her sex partner.

According to the complaint, Bennett asked her for nude pictures and offered to buy her clothing from retailers such as Victoria’s Secret.

J.S. alleged that at one point Bennett touched her breasts.

Claiming that Bennett sent her messages via text, Snapchat, and Facebook, the former intern said she blocked his phone number and social media contact.

The woman’s internship ended in November 2017.  When the internship was reinstated the following August, J.S. said she requested that she be assigned to the Youngstown office of the U.S. Attorney, rather than the Akron or Cleveland offices where Bennett was primarily stationed.

According to the complaint, in January 2019, J.S. received the following text from Bennett asking why she was in Youngstown and inquired about her sex life.

Bennett: why to love YNG so much??? back with the same guy???

Intern: mayyybeeeeee

Bennett: what is wrong with you??? havent you learned yet? I thought you were finally going to just focus on finishing school and getting a real job???

Intern: i am!!!! i have been applying to jobs like crazy

Bennett: but you are driving 2 hours out of ur way??? and it obviously didn't work out the first time...is IT really that good?? (according to the complaint, "IT" referred to sex with her then-partner)

Intern: omg im getting back to work

Bennett: fine...what do i care anyway if u flunk out...

The following month J.S. says when she asked about getting a letter of recommendation for a job, Bennett replied by asking what he would get in exchange for the letter.

In March, the former intern says she received a Facebook message at 4 a.m. from Bennett asking “Why do you haunt my dreams?”

During her second internship, the woman said when she was sometimes assigned to the Akron office she would try to avoid Bennett, using a colleagues work station.

The complaint states that in June 2019 Bennett texted J.S. “Nice. Can’t wait to have it,” referring to the interns' buttocks.

After J.S. told a colleague about the allegations, the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General started an investigation and Bennett resigned his position with the U.S. Attorney General.

Bennett, who in 2015 was recognized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for his work prosecuting mortgage fraud cases, told investigators that at the time he believed that his interactions with J.S. were mutual flirting.  However, in his response to the complaint, Bennett expressed remorse, saying he believes his conduct was inappropriate and unprofessional.

A panel has been named to determine if Bennett, who has been an attorney since 1998, should be sanctioned for violating the rules of professional conduct for Ohio lawyers.