April 28, 2005

Beine sex case has officials searching for answer

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Robert Patrick
Of the Post-Dispatch
Wednesday, Apr. 27 2005

The Missouri Supreme Court's decision overturning the conviction of an
elementary school counselor and former Roman Catholic priest on sexual
misconduct charges triggered quick responses by state and federal officials

The 4-3 decision in favor of James Beine, also known as Mar James, cleared him
of charges he exposed himself to three Patrick Henry Elementary students during
the 2000-2001 school year and declared unconstitutional the statute prohibiting
sexual misconduct involving a child by indecent exposure.

The decision means Beine could be freed from the Farmington Correctional
Facility in St. Francois County where he is incarcerated. A federal appeals
court in December 2003 overturned Beine's separate conviction and 57-month
prison sentence on a federal child pornography charge.

On Wednesday, however, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Massey said that
federal prosecutors in Illinois would re-examine a charge of receiving child
pornography that prosecutors dropped in 2003 after Beine was convicted on the
federal charge in St. Louis.

Posted by kshaw at April 28, 2005 05:00 AM