Thursday, July 20, 2006

Defrocked priest pleads guilty in internet sex sting

A defrocked Roman Catholic priest, who previously served at several churches in Schuylkill County, admitted to charges that he tried to have sex with someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy. Seventy-two-year-old Thomas Bender, of Macungie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to felony charges of attempting to disseminate indecent material to a minor and misdemeanor sex charges in Nassau County, New York. Prosecutors say Bender was involved in online chats with someone he believed was a 14-year-old boy from Long Island, but who was in fact, a detective. Bender was arrested in March of this year after he tried to meet the boy for sex. Bender was sentenced to 7 years probation in 1988 for molesting a teenage boy during the 80's. He had served at several parishes in the county, as well as at Nativity BVM in Pottsville and Marian Catholic High School in Hometown. He will be sentenced August 14th.


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