“Convicted child-porn addict bishop to be freed” and other related articles

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The Montreal Gazette

05 January 2012

BY ANDREW SEYMOUR, POSTMEDIA NEWS JANUARY 5, 2012
Former bishop Raymond Lahey, with lawyer Solomon Friedman, will be credited with time-served and released from jail.

Former bishop Raymond Lahey, with lawyer Solomon Friedman, will be credited with time-served and released from jail.

Photograph by: PAT MCGRATH POSTMEDIA NEWS, Postmedia News

A Catholic bishop with an addiction to Internet pornography won’t spend another day in jail for possessing child porn that included naked young boys wearing rosary beads and crucifixes.

Ontario Court Justice Kent Kirkland sentenced Raymond Lahey to 15 months in jail Wednesday, time that he will be credited with already having served.

Lahey, 71, pleaded guilty in May to possession of child pornography for the purpose of importation.

Lahey had been returning from a trip abroad when customs agents checked his laptop computer and found images that included young boys and teens engaged in sex acts, including bondage and torture.

Police discovered 588 child-pornography images along with 63 videos and several stories with themes of slavery.

The child pornography made up only a small percentage of the approximately 155,000 pictures of pornography he had on the computer.

Lahey voluntarily surrendered himself into custody to begin serving what the law says must be a minimum mandatory sentence of a year in jail.

However, Kirkland ruled at Lahey’s last court appearance before Christmas that the contrite Lahey should be eligible for two-for-one credit for the eight months he already spent behind bars.

With 16 months credit, Lahey’s sentence was complete, Kirkland found.

During an earlier court appearance, Lahey told Kirkland he had an “indiscriminate” addiction to online pornography, but didn’t seek help because of his high-ranking position in the church.

Lahey, who once negotiated a $13-million settlement for victims of child-sex abuse by priests as the bishop of Antigonish, N.S., wasn’t a risk to reoffend against a child, Dr. John Bradford testified.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

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Courtroom fury as Catholic bishop walks free just hours after child porn sentencing

The National Post

04 January 2012

  Jan 4, 2012 – 3:38 PM ET | Last Updated: Jan 4, 2012 4:46 PM ET

PAT McGRATH, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN Former Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey leaves the court house Wednesday with lawyer Solomon Friedman.

Angry scenes erupted inside an Ottawa courthouse Wednesday after a Catholic bishop with an addiction to Internet pornography walked free despite admitting to possessing images of naked boys wearing rosary beads and crucifixes.

Ontario Court Justice Kent Kirkland sentenced Raymond Lahey to 15 months in jail Wednesday, time that he will be credited with already having served, prompting an outburst from one man in the court.

“You’re not a pedophile, you’re a demon, you f–king idiot,” the man yelled at Lahey.

“I’m a survivor, I got to live with it. He’s a f–king demon!” the man shouted, as the judge called for security.

Lahey, who once negotiated a $13-million settlement for victims of child sex abuse by priests as the bishop of Antigonish, N.S., pleaded guilty in May to possession of child pornography for the purpose of importation.

However a leading children’s rights activist said Wednesday that the 15-month sentence did not reflect the seriousness of the crime.

Rosalind Proger of Beyond Borders said Lahey helped fuel a market for child pornography.

“These are real children in these images,” she said from Winnipeg. “They are not drawings. If you look at this sentencing from the perspective of the victims — the children in those images he had — there is a real disconnect between the crime and it ramifications on young lives.

“If the children in those images could have stood in the court room perhaps the sentence would have been tougher.

“No one would be making child pornography if there wasn’t demand and what people like Lahey do is create the demand”, Ms Proger said.

Lahey had been returning from a trip abroad when customs agents checked his laptop computer and found images which included young boys and teens engaged in sex acts including bondage and torture.

Police discovered 588 child pornography images along with 63 videos and several stories with themes of slavery.

The child pornography made up only a small percentage of the approximately 155,000 pictures of pornography he had on the computer.

The 71-year-old voluntarily surrendered himself into custody to begin serving what the law says must be a minimum mandatory sentence of a year in jail.

However, Justice Kirkland ruled at Lahey’s last court appearance before Christmas that the contrite Lahey should be eligible for two-for-one credit for the eight months he already spent behind bars.

With 16 months credit, Lahey’s sentence was complete, Justice Kirkland found. Crown prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 18 to 22 months.

A psychiatrist who examined Lahey testified he was interested in gay sado-masochistic sex and wasn’t a risk to reoffend against a child. Dr. John Bradford added that he was confident Lahey is not a pedophile.

During an earlier court appearance, Lahey told Justice Kirkland he had an “indiscriminate” addiction to online pornography but didn’t seek help because of his high-ranking position in the church.

Lahey said he secretly wanted to be found out, so it was a “blessing in disguise” when customs agents stopped him at the Ottawa airport in September 2009.

A psychiatrist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa claimed users of child pornography have a “very high recidivism rate”.

“When people use child pornography they are aware that their preferred sexual object is a child and that this is abhorrent to society,” said Dr. David Palframan.

“But despite their knowledge they find it almost impossible to stop. And even though they feel deep shame they continue — and this speaks to the power of this sexual choice.”

Part of the problem, Dr. Palframan added, is that medicine has very little to offer these offenders.

“It’s almost at the cellular lever. It becomes embedded in their personality. They usually never fell into normal sexual behaviour. The can’t graduate to the idea of sex with adults.”

With files from Charles Lewis, Postmedia News and The Ottawa Citizen

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Disgraced bishop’s 15-month child porn sentence doesn’t reflect seriousness of his crime: child rights activist

The National Post

  Jan 4, 2012 – 11:30 PM ET | Last Updated: Jan 4, 2012 11:35 PM ET

By Andrew Seymour

in Ottawa
and Charles Lewis

Raymond Lahey is released from jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. Chris Mikula / Postmedia News


The 15-month sentence given to Bishop Raymond Lahey for possession of hundreds of images of child pornography — some that showed naked young boys wearing rosary beads and crucifixes — does not properly reflect the seriousness of the crime, a leading children’s rights activist said Wednesday.

Ontario Court Justice Kent Kirkland said the former Roman Catholic bishop of Antigonish, N.S., would be given two-for-one credit for the eight months already served since he pleaded guilty in May. As a result, Lahey will not spend another day behind bars and is now on probation.

Rosalind Prober of Beyond Borders said what Lahey, 71, did was help fuel a market that sexually abuses and tortures young children.

“These are real children in these images,” Ms. Prober said from Winnipeg. “They are not drawings. If you look at this sentencing from the perspective of the victims — the children in those images he had — there is a real disconnect between the crime and its ramifications on young lives. If the children in those images could have stood in the courtroom perhaps the sentence would have been tougher.”

Lahey’s public image was stellar just a few years ago: former parishioner Ashley Fleury said Wednesday he was well-respected and well-liked.

On Aug. 7, 2009, he concluded a historic settlement with victims of sexual abuse. It was hailed as a model of how the Roman Catholic Church should deal with all those betrayed by its priests; the victims’ Halifax lawyer, John McKiggan, called the deal at the time “extraordinary and unprecedented,” not just for Canada but for the worldwide Church.

Then on Sept. 26, Lahey resigned without explanation. What he did not reveal was that 11 days before, he was found with child pornography on his laptop while going through Ottawa’s main airport. He was charged on Sept. 25 with possession and importation of child pornography.

Police discovered 588 child pornography images along with 63 videos and several stories with themes of slavery.

The child pornography made up only a small percentage of the approximately 155,000 pictures of pornography he had on the computer.

During an earlier court appearance, Lahey told Judge Kirkland he had an “indiscriminate” addiction to online pornography but didn’t seek help because of his high-ranking position in the church.

Lahey said he secretly wanted to be found out, so it was a “blessing in disguise” when customs agents stopped him at the Ottawa airport in September, 2009.

Lahey wasn’t a risk to reoffend against a child, Dr. John Bradford, an Ottawa forensic psychiatrist, testified in court.

Dr. Bradford was confident that Lahey was not a pedophile. He added Lahey, who has been involved in a 10-year romantic relationship with another man after a number of one-night stands, imagines himself in a “submissive role” in his sado-masochistic sex fantasies.

However, Dr. David Palframan, a psychiatrist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, said in an interview Wednesday he has treated victims used in child pornography and no one should underestimate the devastating impact of the experience on those children.

“It’s terrible for them. Their relationship with people they trusted in utterly destroyed. And how do you trust anybody after that? Then they are worried about their pictures being seen everywhere. And finally, how do you grow up to have a normal sexual life if this is the way it starts?”

He said medicine at this point has little to offer offenders and there is high rate of recidivism among those who use children for the object of their sexual fantasies.

“Once people have found what turns them on sexually, that’s what they want to do. And it’s very hard to change their minds about it. Sexuality happens at an almost cellular level in the body. It’s a really serious problem.”

Ms. Prober said no one would make child pornography if there wasn’t demand, she said, and what people like Lahey do is create the demand.

National Post, Postmedia News

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Canadian Bishop Gets 15 Months in Child Porn Case

 ABC News

By ROB GILLIES Associated Press

TORONTO January 4, 2012 (AP)

A Canadian Roman Catholic bishop who admitted he was addicted to looking at child pornography left court Wednesday a free man after being credited for time served in his 15 month sentence.

Bishop Raymond Lahey was arrested at the Ottawa airport in 2009 after customs authorities found almost 600 pornographic photos of young teen boys on his laptop and a handheld device.

Some of the porn involved adolescent boys engaged in sex acts while wearing a crucifix and rosary beads.

The case was especially shocking to Canadians because Lahey had overseen a multimillion-dollar settlement for clerical sexual abuse victims in his diocese before he was charged.

Lahey, 71, pleaded guilty last May to one count of importing child pornography and voluntarily went to jail to begin serving time before his formal sentencing.

Ontario Court Justice Kent Kirkland on Wednesday gave Lahey two-for-one credit for the time he served and two years probation. Double credit is not unusual. The federal government got rid of the provision in 2010 but Lahey qualified for it because he was charged in 2009 before the legislation was enacted.

Lahey will have to submit a DNA sample and register as a sex offender. He also will have to allow searches of his personal and office computers when required by the authorities. He has also been ordered to keep away from swimming pools, daycare centers and schools.

Defense lawyer Michael Edelson called it “exactly the right sentence.” Edelson said Lahey’s career in the church is over. He said Lahey wrote a letter to the Vatican last year asking to be defrocked but hasn’t heard back yet.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Wednesday that the Vatican had said that once the criminal court case was concluded, church authorities would consider which church law measures to take. Lombardi said it wasn’t known when that decision would be taken but that he expected it would be made public.

After Lahey pleaded guilty, the Vatican said the church would impose its own disciplinary measures against him but did not elaborate.

Prelates who sexually abuse minors can be defrocked. Lesser punishments include being forbidden from celebrating Mass publicly.

Edelson said Lahey has been in solitary confinement and the conditions have been dismal.

“He’s lost about 30 pounds (13 kilograms). He has a very severe skin condition now that he didn’t have when he went in. It’s been a very difficult period, and that’s one of the reasons there is a two-for-one credit,” Edelson said.

At a sentencing hearing last month, Lahey offered an apology to his church and to victims of child pornography. He said his addiction to internet porn went against his moral principles.

Lahey resigned as head of the Catholic diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia just before the charges became public.

“This entire matter has caused a great deal of hurt, disappointment and anger within and outside of our diocese,” new Antigonish Bishop Brian Dunn said in a statement. “Church leaders are called to provide good example and to show moral integrity in their lives. When they commit serious moral failures, this can have a significant impact on the faith community. This is especially so when it involves the crime of child pornograhy.”

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Associated Press writer Frances D’Emilio contributed to this report from Rome

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