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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

 

Pastor Offers To Be Sex Coach For Minor Girls

Lake Orion pastor to plead guilty to seeking to be sex coach for minors

 

 

11:42 AM, Mar. 11, 2011  | 

 

  William Bendert

William Bendert / U.S. Marshals Service

TRESA BALDAS
DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

 

A Lutheran pastor who allegedly offered to be a sex coach for minor girls over the Internet is scheduled to plead guilty March 24 to his role in an online sex scheme, according to a filing today in U.S. District Court.

William Bendert, 51, the head pastor of King of Kings Lutheran Church in Lake Orion, is charged with using the Internet to entice an 11-year-old girl for sex. If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison.

According to court documents, Bendert used the screen name “Billthebear99” to contact who he thought were mothers of young daughters online, and asked them if they were interested in having him sexually train the girls. The mothers were really undercover FBI agents, records show.

In one chat room, Bendert typed: "I have taught girls before … always together with their moms … you would have to be present with us, " according to an FBI affidavit.

Federal agents arrested Bendert in September as he walked to a room at a Red Roof Inn near I-75 and Rochester Road, where he had arranged to meet who he thought was an 11-year-old girl, according to court records.

Federal agents seized two condoms and sex toys from the trunk of his car, including handcuffs and a rope, and sex-related books, including the Kama Sutra, from his church, court records show. After his arrest, records show, Bendert admitted to being Billthebear; to paying for the hotel room and that “what he was doing was wrong.”

“He had thoughts in (his) head that he did not want someone to do this to his daughter, and denied that he had ever trained any other girls,” U.S. Magistrate Virginia Morgan wrote in her order requiring that Bendert be detained. “ … given nature of the offense, there is concern about safety of children with whom he may have contact.”

According to court documents, Bendert is on administrative leave from the church as a result of the criminal complaint. He has no prior criminal record. His wife is supporting him, records show.

At his detention hearing in September, Bendert's lawyer, David Burgess, stressed that Bendert has no prior criminal record, no history of drug abuse, and that he is a college-educated family man whose wife is standing by him. He also noted that, so far, no evidence of child pornography has been found on any of Bendert's computers.

"He's never been in any trouble, and he's never shown any kind of this behavior before, " Burgess said at a court hearing in September.

 


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