May 10, 2005

Man accuses priest of solicitation

Duluth News Tribune


A man who lived most of his life in northern Minnesota, much of it as a Catholic priest and as an educator, was removed this week from a parish in Alaska after a man alleged the priest solicited sex from him in return for giving him construction work at the church.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage announced that the Rev. Robert Bester, about 75, reported to his superiors that a man had accused him of inappropriate behavior, according to the Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror.

Bester was born in Duluth and spent part of his career here in the late 1990s as the hospital priest for St. Mary's Medical Center.

On Wednesday, Bester was put on leave from the Alaska parish while a church panel investigates the allegations. Two days later, the alleged victim served the Alaskan archdiocese with a lawsuit.

The accuser, Fred May, cooperated with a local television station in Anchorage in taping conversations secretly with Bester in which the priest talked about graphic sexual acts. He also spoke of being "Dracula," and of engaging in "combat" with angels.

Posted by kshaw at May 10, 2005 05:39 AM