Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Priest sentenced

Asheville music minister ordered to prison
The Associated Press
Posted: Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2011
ASHEVILLE, N.C. A former music minister at an Asheville church has been sentenced to 28 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to producing child pornography.

Thirty-one-year-old Paul Lawrence Berrell was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Asheville last week. Berrell was music minister at St. Eugene Catholic Church.

He originally was charged with nine counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of indecent liberties with a child and one count of statutory sex offense.

Authorities seized a camera, a computer and 11 compact discs of child erotica.

Police say they learned about the case when the parent of a female minor reported it in 2009. The court said there was a pattern of sexual abuse against children dating to 2002.

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