Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bishop Freed after Sentencing on Porn Charges

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bishop Freed after Sentencing on Porn Charges

Article excerpt

OTTAWA * Retired Bishop Raymond Lahey, convicted of importing child pornography, was released from prison Jan. 4 after the judge gave him double credit for eight months already served.

The judge also imposed 24 months of probation with strict conditions on the 71-year-old former bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The Vatican had no immediate comment. However, in May, a Vatican spokesman said the Holy See would "continue to follow the canonical procedures in effect for such cases," which could include dismissal from the clerical state. A lawyer for Lahey said the bishop has written the Holy See asking for laicization.

Following a meeting with his probation officer and submission of a DNA sample for the National Sex Offender Registry, Lahey walked out of the Ottawa courthouse.

As one of his lawyers ushered him through the gauntlet of cameras and microphones, the bishop looked tight-lipped and pale. He climbed into the front passenger seat of a sedan as cameras flashed and reporters shouted questions.

Earlier, Lahey's defense counsel, Michael Edelson, refused to say where the bishop would live. When asked whether Lahey would continue the 10-year homosexual relationship revealed to the court Dec. 19, Edelson said, "No comment."

Until Lahey opted to go to prison after his guilty plea last May, he had been living in a retired priests' residence in Ottawa. He moved into the residence to await trial not long after he was caught at the Ottawa airport in September 2009 with 588 child porn images, about 60 videos and fictional stories featuring sadomasochistic themes involving young boys on his laptop and other devices. …

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