Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Conviction of school counselor is overturned

St. Louis' top prosecutor said Tuesday she will try to build a new case against James Beine after the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the conviction of the former school counselor who had been accused of exposing himself to three students at the city elementary school where he worked.

Joyce said her office has received at least 36 complaints alleging sexual abuse by Beine, a former Roman Catholic priest, but that the statute of limitations has expired for "virtually all."

Beine, who changed his name to Mar James, was removed from the ministry in 1977, amid allegations of sexual abuse. He then formed his own church.

He and the archdiocese were sued at least eight times in the 1990s over allegations of sexual abuse. Two of the cases were settled for a combined $110,000.

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