April 29, 2005

Ex-priest may face new abuse charges

ST. LOUIS (MO)
News-Leader

Associated Press

St. Louis Federal and St. Louis prosecutors are weighing additional sexual-misconduct charges against a defrocked priest who could soon be freed from prison. James Beine's attorney questioned the scrutiny, calling his client "a sacrificial lamb" in addressing sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.

A Missouri Senate panel also took the first step Thursday in shoring up a statute the state's highest court narrowly deemed unconstitutionally broad two days earlier in scrapping the conviction of Beine, a former elementary school counselor also known as Mar James.

A U.S. appeals court threw out Beine's federal conviction of possessing child pornography and a sentence of nearly five years, ruling that investigators illegally seized evidence.

Posted by kshaw at April 29, 2005 07:52 AM