Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bishop in Child-Porn Case on Probation after Serving Eight Months: Bishop in Child-Porn Case Now on Probation

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bishop in Child-Porn Case on Probation after Serving Eight Months: Bishop in Child-Porn Case Now on Probation

Article excerpt

OTTAWA - A disgraced Roman Catholic bishop who got caught with hundreds of pornographic photos of young boys walked out of an Ottawa courthouse on Wednesday after being sentenced to 15 months in jail and two years probation.

Because Ontario Court Justice Kent Kirkland gave Raymond Lahey double credit for the eight months he has served since last spring, the cleric has finished his jail sentence and was released on probation.

Lahey, 71, didn't say a word to the throng of journalists waiting for him as he left the courthouse, got into a waiting car and was driven away by an unidentified woman.

Kirkland also imposed a series of stringent probation rules.

Among other things, Lahey had to submit a DNA sample and register as a sex offender. He will also have to allow searches of his personal and office computers when required by the authorities.

Lahey has also been ordered to keep away from swimming pools, daycares and schools.

"The most difficult task for a judge in determining an appropriate sentence is the balancing of the fundamental principles ... while at the same time infusing the nature and character of the offender," Kirkland said.

"This task is particularly onerous here. On one hand, the sexual exploitation of children is an offence that cries out for significant reprisal.

"On the other hand, the personal circumstances of this offender, who accepts responsibility for his wayward conduct, defies the urgency of incarceration."

Lahey pleaded guilty last May to one count of importing child pornography and voluntarily went to jail.

He was arrested at the Ottawa airport in September 2009 after customs authorities found hundreds of pornographic photos of young boys on his laptop and a handheld device.

Of the 155,000 pornographic images found on Lahey's laptop and handheld device, 588 photos and 63 videos were of young boys engaged in various sexual acts, including some involving bondage and torture.

The court heard Lahey's collection included pornographic photos featuring Catholic imagery, including young boys wearing crucifixes and rosary beads engaged in sex acts, and a man dressed as a monk hitting a young boy's bare buttocks with a paddle. …

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