Ex-Priest Loses Teaching License after Complaint

By Cheryl Wittenauer
October 13, 2007

St. Louis — The state has revoked the teaching and counselor certificates of James Beine, a former St. Louis-area priest and teacher accused of sexual misconduct.

Attorney General Jay Nixon said he filed a complaint with the Missouri State Board of Education in January. He sought the revocation based on Beine's possession of child pornography, his inappropriate sexual contact with a minor and a review of records in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The board revoked the certificates Oct. 4.

Beine, who also goes by the name Mar James, had a lifetime certificate to teach English and Latin in seventh to 12th grades, and a lifetime counseling certificate.

Beine was convicted in 2003 of sexual misconduct involving a child by indecent exposure. But the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the conviction, finding the state law was unconstitutionally broad. He also has faced lawsuits alleging sexual abuse.

Beine was also convicted of possessing child pornography, but that conviction was overturned in December 2003, with an appeals court ruling that investigators illegally seized key evidence against Beine.

The board had removed the teaching and counseling certificates following Beine's conviction, but they had to be reinstated when it was overturned, the attorney general's office said.

The complaint filed by Nixon was based on new allegations, including that Beine possessed hundreds of computer files containing pictures and video files of boys exposing themselves. Nixon said St. Louis police discovered the files after he was arrested on separate charges in 2002.

The complaint also alleged that Beine forced a boy to have sexual contact with him at Beine's church on two occasions in the 1970s. Beine was later defrocked.

The attorney general's office said Beine now lives in Las Vegas, but it wants to make sure he can't return to teach in Missouri.

There was no listing for James Beine or Mar James in Las Vegas.


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