From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

Senator working to save state's sexual misconduct law

May 3, 2005
By: Josh Hinkle
State Capital Bureau
Links: HB 353

In the final weeks of this legislative session, one Missouri senator is working to save the state's sexual misconduct law... and protect Missouri school children.

Josh Hinkle has more from the state Capitol.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Jackson County Senator Matt Bartle says the Missouri Supreme Court has placed the safety of the state's school children in extreme jeopardy.

Last week, the court overturned the sexual misconduct charges of a St. Louis elementary school counselor, previously convicted for urinating in a school bathroom in front of three boys.

In its decision, the court also ruled the state's sexual misconduct statute unconstitutional... something with which Bartle just can't agree.

Actuality: bart3
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "Anytime a statute is designed to protect children from pedophiles is ruled unconstitutional, that is a tool in the prosecutor's toolbox that is taken out."

The court found the statute too broad because officials could charge any man simply using a restroom in front of children younger than 14 with sexual misconduct.

Bartle's amendment would clarify the language of that law... saying a person would have to knowingly expose oneself to a child... subsequently causing alarm to that child.

SOC.

###

A former St. Louis elementary school counselor once charged for indecent exposure at school now walks free... thanks to a Supreme Court decision that's prompting one Missouri senator to salvage the state's already broad sexual misconduct law.

Josh Hinkle has more from the state Capitol.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Jackson County Senator Matt Bartle says the state's sexual misconduct law needs clarification.

The state Supreme Court overturned the sexual misconduct charges of an elementary school counselor, convicted for urinating in a school bathroom in front of three boys.

The court found the law unconstitutionally broad because any man simply using a restroom in front of a child could be charged with sexual misconduct.

Bartle says the ruling lets sexual predators slip through the cracks.

Actuality: bart2
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "Simply going into a restroom and doing what one normally does in a restroom wouldn't cause apprehension... There has to be something more than that."

Bartle's amendment would clarify the law to inlcude a person knowingly exposing oneself to a child and knowing that doing so would alarm that child.

SOC.

###

One man's freedom is prompting one Missouri senator to clarify the state's already broad sexual misconduct law.

Josh Hinkle has more from the state Capitol.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

For Jackson County Senator Matt Bartle, the case of James Beine strikes fear into his mind... for Missouri school children.

In 2001, Beine, a St. Louis elementary school counselor, landed a 12-year prison sentence for sexual misconduct when he urinated in a school bathroom in front of three boys.

But the state Supreme Court reversed his conviction, declaring the state's sexual misconduct law unconstitutionally broad.

But Bartle says, while Beine's argument that he was simply using the restroom saved him, his record should've served as a warning to the court.

Actuality: bart1
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "It's pretty clear to me that the guy should be in prison right now and I'm pretty troubled that he's not."

Although Beine had worked as a school counselor for more than a decade before the incident, he was dismissed from the priesthood in 1977 over sexual abuse allegations.

While Bartle works to keep sexual predators from slipping through the cracks, House Education Chairman, Jane Cunningham of St. Louis County, says she's not sure if lawmakers can really do anything to help.

Actuality: cunnin1
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "Every school district's gotta figure it out for themselves. That's not something we can dictate from on high."

In it's decision, the court even questioned whether children and adults should have separate restrooms in schools for better protection.

SOC.