May 11, 2005

Beine picks safety of prison for now


By Robert Patrick
Of the Post-Dispatch

James Beine, citing fear of harm, will remain in prison rather than accept release on bond on charges of exposing his genitals to students at the St. Louis public school where he was a counselor, his lawyer said Tuesday.

The lawyer, Lawrence Fleming, attributed the decision to prosecutors, victims' advocates and even the Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Louis, who all are working publicly to seek additional charges against the long-suspended priest.

Unless they succeed, it appears that Beine eventually will be freed outright by a 4-3 decision of the Missouri Supreme Court on April 26 that said the sexual misconduct law under which he was convicted was unconstitutionally broad. Attorney General Jay Nixon's office has until the end of business today to file for a reconsideration. A spokesman said he would.

Last week, the court said Beine, most recently of Highland, can go free sooner if he posts a $5,000 bond and agrees to home detention. Beine, also known as Mar James, had been convicted on a federal child pornography possession charge, but a different appeals court previously overturned that, saying evidence was improperly seized. Advertisement

Posted by kshaw at May 11, 2005 08:19 AM