Ex-bishop ‘a societal pariah’: Lawyer

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Calgary Sun



Ex-bishop Raymond Lahey‘s reputation is in tatters, his defence lawyer says.

“My client has, in effect, become a societal pariah,” Michael Edelson said, who wants Lahey to serve the mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail.

Lahey, who hammered out a multi-million dollar settlement for victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic church, lived a “life of great deeds, good work and immense erudition, education and good character,” Edelson said.

Now, “he wears the scarlet letter,” Edelson said.

In his sentencing hearing Monday for Lahey, who was caught with child porn on Sept. 15, 2009, at the Ottawa airport.

He pleaded guilty to importing child porn in May.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. John Bradford testified Lahey is into sado-masochism — the submissive side.

Submissives, among other things, enjoy humiliation, he said, noting it “is relatively common.”

Bradford was unshaken on a number of critical issues while on the stand: Lahey is not a pedophile, he is not a risk to the community, and he doesn’t need treatment.

Bradford said the ex-bishop of Antigonish, N.S., did exhibit an interest in male youths aged about 14 to 18, as well as in men.

But Bradford warned a tendency towards this so-called “hebephilia” isn’t a formal diagnosis.

“A lot of normal people show (an interest in adolescents),” he said.

The court heard Lahey had one night stands, and he had also been in a 10-year relationship with a man.

He also admitted his Internet porn addiction to Bradford.

Cops found about 155,000 porn files on his computer.

Of those, 588 were child pornography, along with about 60 videos and a collection of child porn stories. One starred “Father Raymond.” Edelson is asking for two-for-one credit for Lahey’s pre-sentence custody, which could see him get sentenced to time served when Judge Kent Kirkland makes his decision.

Crown prosecutor David Elhadad seeks an 18- to 22-month jail sentence and probation.

His submissions begin Tuesday.


Sentencing Arguments to Pick Up Again On Tuesday In the Case Against Former Roman Catholic Bishop

CFRA Radio Ottawa

19 December 2011

Anna Drahovzal with Lauren Davis

The Crown will present its sentencing arguments on Tuesday in the case against Raymond Lahey.

The former Roman Catholic Bishop pleaded guilty in May to importing child pornography. Lahey was found with hundreds of photos of illicit material during a stop at the Ottawa Airport in September, 2009.

His lawyer believes a one-year mandatory minimum sentence is sufficient for his client. Lahey has suffered a dramatic loss of reputation, according to attorney Michael Edelson, and compared with many other child pornography cases, Lahey’s is on the low end of the spectrum, he argued, partly because he didn’t pay for the material, and because Lahey didn’t distribute it.

Edelson also pointed to evidence from a psychiatrist that shows Lahey isn’t a pedophile and is unlikely to re-offend.

It’s now been over seven months since Lahey voluntarily went to jail. The Defence wanted to have that time counted for two-for-one credit, a move the Crown intends to fight, but Edelson says what counts is when a charge was laid and in this case, that happened when two-for-one credit still applied.


Sentencing hearing continues for Canadian bishop in child-porn case


19 December 2011

An Ottawa court has resumed a sentencing hearing in the case of Bishop Raymond Lahey, who has pleaded guilty to child-pornography charges.

In court on December 19, a psychiatrist testified that the former Bishop of Antigonish is not a pedophile, and not a threat to young men despite his interest in pornography. “You can never be absolutely sure someone is not a pedophile but on the basis of the material I reviewed I believe he is not a pedophile,” said Dr. John Bradford.

Bishop Lahey’s lawyer is asking the court to give his client double credit for the jail time he has served since voluntarily turning himself in last May.


Bishop convicted of child porn not a pedophile, doctor testifies

The Vancouver Sun

19 December 2011


Disgraced Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey is interested in sado-masochistic sex and addicted to Internet pornography but isn't a pedophile, a forensic psychiatrist testified Monday.

Disgraced Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey is interested in sado-masochistic sex and addicted to Internet pornography but isn’t a pedophile, a forensic psychiatrist testified Monday.

Photograph by: Mike Carroccetto, Canwest News Service

OTTAWA — Disgraced Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey is interested in sado-masochistic sex and addicted to Internet pornography but isn’t a pedophile, a forensic psychiatrist testified Monday.

Lahey, 71, has a homosexual interest in adolescent males and young men but presents virtually no risk of committing a hands on sexual offence, said Dr. John Bradford. However, the doctor acknowledged there was no way of determining his risk to commit a future child pornography offence.

“You can never be absolutely sure someone is not a pedophile, but on the basis of the material I reviewed I believe he is not a pedophile,” said Bradford, head of forensic psychiatry at the University of Ottawa and recently retired as associate chief of forensics at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

“Even if he was a hands on perpetrator, he is at an age where the risk of recidivism is very low,” said Bradford.

Bradford was testifying during the sentencing hearing for Lahey, who pleaded guilty in May to possession of child pornography. Lahey was arrested at the Ottawa airport in September 2009 after border agents discovered the illicit materials on his laptop computer. The materials included pictures of boys and adolescents as young as eight. Some were engaged in explicit sex acts. He also possessed several pornographic stories.

Lahey, who is himself gay and has been involved in a 10-year romantic relationship after a number of one night stands, imagines himself in a “submissive role” in his sado-masochistic sex fantasies, Bradford said.

“His role is to be submissive and subjected to humiliation and bondage,” said Bradford.

Lahey says he has never acted out on his fantasies and never committed any sexual offenses against a child, Bradford added.

Crown prosecutor David Elhadad questioned whether Lahey was trying to manipulate test results to present himself in the best possible light. Lahey scored highly on a test used to measure impression management.

Phallometric testing, which measures sexual arousal to images and audio tapes, also showed Lahey had an interest in adult females, even though he told the doctor he liked teenage boys and young adult men.

Lahey is facing a mandatory minimum one-year sentence, but could end up spending little to no further time behind bars.

Lahey’s lawyers, Michael Edelson and Solomon Friedman, are asking for two-for-one credit for the seven months Lahey has spent in jail since pleading guilty.

Lahey’s crime occurred before the Truth in Sentencing Act came into effect in February 2010, Friedman argued, entitling him to the enhanced credit. The Truth in Sentencing Act abolished the practice of giving an accused person two-for-one credit for so-called “dead time” before being sentenced.

Prosecutors intend to impose any additional credit for Lahey, who voluntarily surrendered himself into custody.


“This is a situation where after the legislation came in force, he purposely, out of his own choosing, put himself behind bars,” said prosecutor Mihael Cole.


Ottawa Citizen

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