May 07, 2005

Mo. court orders defrocked priest freed

Seattle Post-Intelligencer


ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri Supreme Court on Friday ordered a defrocked priest to be freed from prison on bond, 10 days after it threw out the former elementary school counselor's convictions on charges he exposed himself to boys in a school restroom.

The state Department of Corrections was awaiting a formal order authorizing the release of James Beine from the Farmington Correctional Center, where he has been serving a 12-year sentence.

Beine's attorney, Lawrence Fleming, said his client likely would remain jailed until at least Tuesday. The Supreme Court ordered that he remain in home confinement, but Fleming said his client has no home.

Beine, a counselor in St. Louis schools for more than a decade, was dismissed from the priesthood in 1977 over allegations of sexual abuse.

He allegedly exposed himself to two male students while using a urinal in the spring of 2001. A third boy lodged a similar complaint. He was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison in September 2003.

Posted by kshaw at May 7, 2005 12:30 AM