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Ex-St. James chaplain extradited to Washington County

March 13, 2001

Ex-St. James chaplain extradited to Washington County



An Episcopal priest charged with molesting two boys at St. James School more than 15 years ago was back in Washington County Monday after being extradited from Illinois, Maryland State Police said.

The Rev. Kenneth Behrel, 51, former pastor of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grayslake, Ill., was being held on $30,000 bond on each for two counts of child abuse, police said.

Behrel, the former chaplain at St. James, was arrested Feb. 6 on charges he molested two boys at the private boarding school near Hagerstown between 1981 and 1986.

Police said their investigation was continuing.

Behrel was to have a bond review hearing before a Washington County Circuit judge today, police said.

Illinois prosecutors have dropped charges of cocaine and weapons possession filed after a search on Behrel's home.

Maryland state police said a former St. James student alleged last year that he was molested between 1982 and 1985. That man, now living in Montana, identified a second alleged victim, who lives in Alexandria, Va. That man alleged he was molested him from 1981 to 1984.

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Both men alleged that Behrel had given them alcohol and that the assaults occurred at the school and on trips to Chicago and Michigan.

The Episcopal Church has barred Behrel from acting as a priest until the Maryland cases are resolved, Michael Perillo, a spokesman for St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, said.

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