April 04, 2006

Priest accused of rape on leave from church



Associated Press

A Sacred Heart Parish priest arrested on a charge of raping a 29-year-old Oregon woman in a motel room was placed on paid administrative leave, church officials said.

The Rev. Randy Benas, 45, lives at the church's Saratoga campus but is no longer assigned to a parish, Roberta Ward, spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose, said Monday.

Benas was arrested Thursday on suspicion of rape after a police sting involving three phone calls between Benas and the woman, police said. The woman was not identified.

Police said Benas counseled the woman over the phone for a year after she sent letters to various priests seeking spiritual guidance. She claims she was raped at a Motel 6 in Sunnyvale after stopping to visit Benas on her way to San Diego.

Posted by kshaw at April 4, 2006 09:01 PM