March 23, 2006

Bail set in ex-priest sex case


Newsday Staff Writer

March 23, 2006

The former priest from Pennsylvania who was busted in Nassau on his way to a tryst with someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy was carrying beer, candy and gay pornography, police said yesterday.

After more than a year of on-line communication with a Nassau police detective posing as a teenager, Thomas J. Bender of Macungie, Pa., drove 2 1/2 hours to meet the perceived teenager at an undisclosed location on Long Island. The plan, police said, was to go to a hotel for sex.

When he was arrested Tuesday night, Bender, 72, was carrying an assortment of candies, two Beck's beers, two condoms and a gay pornographic DVD. Police also recovered a laptop computer and a personal computer at Bender's home, which will be examined to see whether Bender had inappropriate communication with children.

Bender was charged with five counts of disseminating indecent material to a minor, a felony, and a single count of attempted criminal sexual act, a misdemeanor, police said. Each count of the first charge carries a maximum sentence of 1 to 4 years in prison.

Posted by kshaw at March 23, 2006 08:16 AM