Former Priest Pleads Guilty to Sex Chats

1010 WINS
July 17, 2006

Mineola, Long Island (1010 WINS) -- A 72-year-old former priest, who had been convicted of molesting a teenager, pleaded guilty today to charges he tried to have sex with someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy.

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Thomas Bender, of Easton, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to felony charges of attempting to disseminate indecent material to a minor and misdemeanor charges of attempted criminal sex act and attempted child endangerment.

Bender, who served as pastor at Most Blessed Sacrament in Bally, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to seven years probation in 1988 for molesting a teenage boy in the 1980s.

Nassau County prosecutors say Bender had several online conversations with someone he believed was a 14-year-old boy from Long Island but who was really a detective.

Bender allegedly tried to meet the boy at an undisclosed location in March with the intention of taking him to a motel for sex. When the ex-priest arrived at the location, he was arrested by Nassau County detectives.

When he was arrested, Bender was carrying condoms, beer, candy, KY Jelly and a laptop.

Bender was indicted in May by a Nassau County grand jury. He's set to be sentenced August 14th.


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