Ionia County Priest Arrested during Internet Sting

WOOD [Michigan]
Downloaded May 25, 2004

(Ionia County, May 25, 2004, 5:12 p.m.) An associate pastor at an Ionia County Catholic church is facing charges he tried to solicit sex from a girl over the Internet.

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is charging Father Shamaun Beas of St. Patrick's Church in Portland with using a computer to accost a minor and commit a crime.

The Grand Rapids Diocese says Father Beas is a Pakistani priest who's currently serving an internship as an associate pastor at St. Patrick's Church in Portland, which is eastern Ionia County.

Attorney General Cox says officials caught Father Beas during an Internet sting. They say Beas used a church computer set up a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl near Detroit. The girl turned out to be an undercover investigator who then met Father Beas at a party store and arrested the 36-year-old associate pastor.

Beas faces eight counts, including two felonies.

Before his current assignment at St. Patrick's Church, Father Beas served at Holy Family Church in Sparta. 24 Hour News 8 checked with the monsignor at the Holy Family Church who had nothing but positive things to say about Beas.

He came to West Michigan from Pakistan in 2001 and was scheduled to serve a three-year internship in the Grand Rapids Diocese.