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Canadian Bishop Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography

By RON CSILLAG
c. 2011 Religion News Service

TORONTO (RNS) A former Roman Catholic bishop in Nova Scotia has pleaded guilty to trying to import child pornography after he was arrested in 2009 returning from a trip to Thailand.

Appearing in an Ottawa court on Wednesday (May 4), Raymond Lahey, 70, pleaded guilty to a single charge of “possession (of child pornography) for the purposes of importation.” A second charge of possession is expected to be withdrawn as part of the plea deal.

Lahey is due to return to court on May 26 to set a sentencing date.

Lahey was arrested in September, 2009 at Ottawa’s airport after a trip to Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. A check of his laptop computer and other devices revealed more than 500 images of child pornography involving boys.

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In an agreed statement of facts before the court, the images were categorized as “mastery and slavery,” humiliation of young boys, torture of young boys, sex acts between boys, and degradation of young boys.

Lahey served for six years as bishop of the diocese in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and resigned the day after he was charged.

A month before his arrest, Lahey had brokered a $15 million settlement for victims of sexual abuse by priests of the diocese of Antigonish dating back to 1950. He was not directly implicated in the allegations.

“Recognizing the confusion and anger that this case has engendered among many of the faithful, we underscore our pastoral concern for those who have experienced great pain as a result of these events,” said a statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • Pingback: Sex abuse settlement negotiated by disgraced bishop still good, says successor – The Canadian Press | Sex In Thailand

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    It’s good he was caught and it’s good he’s no longer in a position of responsibility. One wonders what would have happened had his superiors known but not the police. Based on earlier actions I’ve got my guess.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Wonder how long he had been doing this before he was caught—-and who might have known and kept quiet—a habit in the past with the RCC as we have learned. Wonder what the punishment will be.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kenneth

    How long had he been doing this? In round figures, 40-50 years, at least, based upon what we know about this. Of course someone within the hierarchy knew, probably before he was elevated to bishop. The only reason he faces any punishment is because secular authorities caught him.

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