Disgraced bishop in child-porn case ‘truly sorry’

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Toronto Star

20 December 2011

Canadian Press

OTTAWA—A disgraced Roman Catholic bishop who got busted with hundreds of pornographic photos of young boys says he’s sorry.

Speaking in public for the first time since he got caught at the Ottawa airport, Raymond Lahey offered an apology to the church and to victims of child pornography.

“I am truly sorry for what I have done,” Lahey told the court on Tuesday, the second day of his sentencing hearing.

The 71-year-old cleric, looking gaunt and frail, said his addiction to Internet porn went against his moral principles.

“I know that I’ve done wrong.”

The court heard Lahey’s collection included pornographic photos featuring Catholic imagery, including young boys wearing crucifixes and rosary beads engaged in sex acts, and a man dressed as a monk hitting a young boy’s bare buttocks with a paddle.

There were also graphic images of bondage and torture.

“They are graphic in the extreme,” Crown attorney David Elhadad said of Lahey’s collection of child porn.

Lahey sat with his arms crossed as the judge and the lawyers looked at photos from his collection.

Later, he offered some insight into his actions.

“Deep down, I desired to be found out,” Lahey told the court.

“Being discovered coming through customs was a blessing in disguise.”

He will be sentenced Jan. 4 on one count of importing child pornography.

He voluntarily went to jail last spring to begin serving time even before his formal sentencing.

A second charge of simple possession remains against Lahey, but it is expected to be withdrawn as part of the plea deal when he is formally sentenced.

Lahey was arrested at the Ottawa airport in September 2009 after customs authorities found hundreds of pornographic photos of young boys on his laptop and a handheld device.

A psychiatrist has told the court that testing suggests the bishop is not a pedophile.

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Being Caught with Child Porn Was a ‘Blessing In Disguise’: Catholic Bishop

CFRA Ottawa

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gord McDougall with Lauren Davis

Disgraced Roman Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey says being caught at Customs with child pornography was a “blessing in disguise.”

Lahey made a brief statement to the court late Tuesday afternoon.

“What I did was not only something illegal, but something that goes against my moral beliefs,” Lahey told the court.

The former Catholic bishop calls his 2009 arrest at the Ottawa Airport a “blessing in disguise,” because it gives him a chance to deal with his internet pornography addiction. He admits that child pornography is particularly harmful and that he was clouded by his addiction.

Justice Kent Kirkland will sentence Lahey on January 4, but did rule today on whether he will get the two-for-one deal argued for by his defence team. His sentence will be two-for-one, meaning that for every two months to which he is sentenced, he will only have to serve one.

The Crown has asked for a sentence of between 18 to 22 months, and Lahey will have already served eight.

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