The Missouri Supreme Court last week overturned the conviction of a counselor who was accused of exposing himself to children in the boys’ restroom of an elementary school.
The high court ruled 4-3 on April 26 that James A. Beine, a former counselor at Patrick Henry Elementary School in St. Louis, was convicted without sufficient evidence that he had intended to alarm or affront the students when he used the same restroom as the boys in the spring of 2001. Further, the court found the state statute under which Mr. Beine was convicted unconstitutional because it was overbroad.
Mr. Beine is a former Roman Catholic priest who was removed from the priesthood in 1977 following allegations of sexual misconduct. He worked in counseling jobs for seven years in St. Louis before resigning in 2002, shortly before his arrest on charges of exposing himself in the school restroom. (“St. Louis to Probe Ex-Priest’s Career in Schools,” April 17, 2002.)