April 01, 2006

Priest held on $200,000 bail for alleged rape

San Francisco Chronicle

Cicero A. Estrella, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, April 1, 2006

A Saratoga priest has been arrested for the alleged rape of an Oregon woman he had been counseling over the phone for the last year, authorities said on Friday.

The Rev. Randy Benas, 45, of Sacred Heart Parish in Saratoga was arrested Thursday and is being held on $200,000 bail at the Santa Clara County Jail, Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Lt. Marty Dale said.

"The staff and the parishioners are very surprised," said Elizabeth Lily, a parish minister. "There was nothing to suspect anything like this. People are in a state of disbelief."

The 29-year-old Oregon woman alleged that Benas raped her early Tuesday morning after she met him at the Motel 6 on Mathilda Avenue in Sunnyvale. She was driving to visit friends in San Diego but had stopped in the Bay Area late Monday after Benas asked her to meet him for the first time, Dale said.

Posted by kshaw at April 1, 2006 10:09 AM