May 13, 2005

Priest resigns amid sex charges

Anchorage Daily News

Anchorage Daily News

Published: May 13th, 2005
Last Modified: May 13th, 2005 at 02:33 AM

An Anchorage priest accused of sexual harassment has resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left Alaska, Catholic Archbishop Roger Schwietz said Thursday.

The Rev. Robert Bester resigned May 5, the day after a local television station began airing stories based on undercover recordings of the priest talking in explicitly sexual terms with Anchorage resident Fredrick D. May Jr.

May sued the archdiocese May 6 on the grounds that he's suffered extreme emotional distress over his encounters with Bester. He contends that Bester approached him last summer and offered him a job helping to build a new parish church. But within a day or so, the priest began asking for sexual favors from May, the suit says. When May refused, the priest told him there was no longer a job available, the suit says.

Schwietz put Bester on administrative leave May 4. That occurred the same day that Bester notified him of the allegation of sexual harassment and faxed him a partial transcript provided by Channel 11 of the undercover recording, before it aired.

Posted by kshaw at May 13, 2005 06:53 AM