Former bishop pleads guilty to child porn charge

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CTV

04 May 2011

Raymond Lahey, 70, arrives at the courthouse where he entered a guilty plea at his child  pornography trial, Wednesday, May 4, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Updated: Wed May. 04 2011 5:41:05 PM

ctvottawa.ca

A former Roman Catholic bishop who was arrested after a search at the Ottawa airport has pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography for the purpose of importation.

In an unusual move, Raymond Lahey, 70, gave up his bail and asked to go into custody right away to show his remorse.

The statement of facts presented in court Wednesday said Lahey was in possession of 60 videos and 588 still photographs of child pornography. The graphic images showed the abuse of young boys ranging in age from eight to 10 years old.

Police say they discovered 1,882 online searches for child pornography on Lahey’s computer and found personal sex toys in his luggage. Lahey was also in possession of several pornographic stories written about children.

Lahey was charged after he was searched at the Ottawa airport when he arrived from London in September 2009. Border officers say Lahey was flagged because he looked nervous and hesitated when he was asked if he had a laptop.

Originally, Lahey also faced a charge of possessing child pornography for the purpose of distribution and exportation. That charge was dropped when he entered his guilty plea on Wednesday.

Lahey had to push through photographers as he arrived at the Ottawa courthouse Wednesday morning. He went directly to jail when court adjourned.

Lahey, who is the former head of the diocese in Antigonish, N.S., had been living in Ottawa with other priests since he was granted bail in October.

Lahey’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 26.

With files from CTV Ottawa’s Catherine Lathem

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