April 27, 2005

Conviction of school counselor is overturned

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Robert Patrick
Of the Post-Dispatch
Tuesday, Apr. 26 2005

St. Louis' top prosecutor said Tuesday she will try to build a new case against
James Beine after the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the conviction of the
former school counselor who had been accused of exposing himself to three
students at the city elementary school where he worked.

"I'm disappointed and frustrated by it," said Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce.
"In my opinion, Mr. Beine has had a long career of abusing children. In my
opinion, he's dangerous."

Joyce said her office has received at least 36 complaints alleging sexual abuse
by Beine, a former Roman Catholic priest, but that the statute of limitations
has expired for "virtually all." She said she would decide today whether there
is anything more she could prosecute.

It was the second major legal victory in about four months for Beine, most
recently of Highland, whose federal conviction on a charge of possessing child
pornography was reversed by an appeals court in December.

Three students at Patrick Henry Elementary School, just north of downtown, said
Beine exposed his genitals during the 2000-2001 school year as he urinated in a
bathroom. He was indicted in 2002 and convicted by a jury in 2003 of four
counts of sexual misconduct involving a child by indecent exposure. He was
sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Posted by kshaw at April 27, 2005 07:07 AM