19 December 2011
Bishop Raymond Lahey is seen at an Ottawa courthouse on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011.
The Canadian Press
Date: Mon. Dec. 19 2011 5:24 PM ET
OTTAWA — A disgraced Roman Catholic bishop who got busted for having hundreds of pornographic photos of young boys on his laptop is not a pedophile, a court heard Monday.
Raymond Lahey underwent testing after close to 600 photos, mostly of young teen boys, were found on his laptop and a handheld device when he was stopped at the Ottawa airport in September 2009.
A psychiatrist told the court during a sentencing hearing that the results of those tests do not suggest the 71-year-old cleric is a pedophile.
“Overall, I don’t think that he was pedophilic,” Dr. John Bradford said.
Bradford added that Lahey is gay and has an attraction to teen boys, as well as an interest in sado-masochism.
The court heard Lahey has an addiction to Internet porn, had several one-night stands and has apparently been in a decade-long relationship. Lahey’s lawyer, Michael Edelson, told reporters the bishop’s partner is not a fellow member of the clergy.
The psychiatrist also told the court Lahey is not likely to pose a risk to the public were he to be released from custody, given his age and the fact that he has never physically or sexually assaulted a child.
The Crown is seeking a sentence of 18 to 22 months in jail and two years’ probation.
Edelson went through other cases of child pornography and sexual assault where offenders whose charges were more serious received lesser sentences than what the Crown is seeking for Lahey.
He argued Lahey’s reputation is in tatters.
“This has been an enormous fall from grace,” Edelson said.
The lawyer compared his client to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 19th century novel, “The Scarlet Letter,” in which protagonist Hester Prynne is marked with the letter A for committing adultery.
“He wears the scarlet letter,” Edelson said of Lahey.
“‘CP’ (standing for child pornography) are the scarlet letters he is going to wear.”
Lahey case has rocked his former Nova Scotia archdiocese of Antigonish.
The cleric pleaded guilty in May to importing child pornography and voluntarily went to jail 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A second charge of simple possession remains against Lahey, but it is expected to be withdrawn as part of the plea deal when he is formally sentenced.
An Ottawa police detective told the court this summer some of the photos on Lahey’s computer including depictions of torture.