Bishop’s child porn sentencing delayed

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Ottawa Citizen

22 June 2011

By Andrew Seymour

A sentencing hearing for a Catholic bishop who possessed child pornography has been delayed until August.

Raymond Lahey was scheduled to be in court on Friday for a daylong hearing for submissions on the length of his sentence.

On Tuesday, the hearing was pushed back to Aug. 4 and 5 because the Crown had yet to receive Lahey’s clinical file from Dr. John Bradford, the psychiatrist who examined Lahey at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

Prosecutors want time to examine the clinical records to properly cross-examine Bradford about his findings in a sexual behaviours assessment.

Lahey, who voluntarily went to jail after pleading guilty in May to possessing child pornography for the purpose of importation, faces a one-year mandatory minimum sentence.

The 71-year-old was bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, when he was caught with child pornography on his laptop computer when he was passing through the Ottawa airport in summer 2009 after a trip abroad.

He retains his rank in the Catholic Church until a canonical disciplinary process concludes.

Lahey had been a central figure in settling a lawsuit against his diocese over the sexual abuse of children by priests in Nova Scotia. The diocese agreed to pay $15 million.

The material he was caught with in Ottawa, about five weeks later, included photographs and stories featuring the humiliation and degradation of young boys.

aseymour@ottawacitizen.com

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