Records say priest lied about hidden camera in bathroom

The Columbian
July 8, 2015

PORTLAND — Court records allege that a Catholic priest lied about a hidden camera that a boy found in his Sherwood church bathroom.

Capt. Ty Hanlon said Tuesday that 34-year-old Father Ysrael Bien is being investigated, the Oregonian reported. Police believe he was either responsible for the camera or knew how it ended up in the men's bathroom at St. Francis Catholic Church.

According to an affidavit, a 15-year-old boy discovered what appeared to be a waist-high electrical outlet next to a toilet on April 26. He pulled the outlet, brought the camera to the priest and then told his father.

Bien allegedly lied to the boy's family, saying that police were investigating the matter. Weeks passed before Bien, prompted by the family and the church deacon, admitted that he had never contacted police.

Records show the dad noted, "the information that Father was offering did not seem to make sense."

Court records show the boy's dad emailed Bien requesting a police report, and Bien replied, "there is no police report and it is best if I explain this to you in person."

He told investigators that the device went missing and he didn't speak to police because he feared the consequences of losing it.

Bien was placed on leave June 24.

Police have referred the case to Washington County District Attorney's Office.


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