Sherwood priest on leave as police investigate hidden camera

Oregon Live

By Brad Schmidt | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on June 28, 2015

A Sherwood priest is on administrative leave as police investigate who is responsible for hiding a camera in a church bathroom.

The St. Francis Church priest, Ysrael Bien, has not been accused of wrongdoing nor has he been named a suspect by police.

The Archdiocese of Portland notified parishioners this weekend that Bien was placed on leave Wednesday, more than a month after church leaders became aware of the incident. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported the investigation on Friday.

The Archdiocese said in a statement that it did not notify parishioners or immediately place Bien on leave “out of an abundance of caution not to interfere with an ongoing police investigation.” The Archdiocese notified parishioners who visited this weekend and also authored a letter, dated June 25, about the incident.

Police said the camera device does not need power to operate and can be placed anywhere by adhering it to a wall with tape.

A church member initially found a camera – disguised as a power outlet – in a St. Francis bathroom on April 26 and turned it over to Bien.

But Bien didn’t contact police until May 20, when he reported it as stolen.

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