Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bishop to live in Ottawa pending porn trial

Bishop to live in Ottawa pending porn trial
Judge grants request to change bail conditions

By MEGAN GILLIS, Courts Bureau

Last Updated: 9th October 2009, 12:38pm
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Facebook Digg Del.icio.us Google Stumble Upon Newsvine Reddit Technorati Feed Me Yahoo Simpy Squidoo Spurl Blogmarks Netvouz Scuttle Sitejot + What are these? A Catholic bishop was back in Ottawa court this morning to hand over his passport and get a new place to call home.

Bishop Raymond Lahey, 69, appeared seeking a variation to his bail conditions on charges of possessing and importing child pornography.

He was allegedly carrying a laptop containing graphic sexual images of boys, appearing to be as young as age eight, when he entered Canada last month, a document used to obtain a search warrant revealed Thursday.

This morning, a judge ordered that Lahey is to reside at 1243 Kilborn Road. The address is an Archdiocese of Ottawa priests’ residence. He must also report to Ottawa police every two weeks starting Oct. 17 and will be back in court Nov. 4.

Lahey “was facing very few — practically no — options” of places to live in Ottawa, Archbishop of Ottawa Terrence Prendergast said in a message to priests Thursday. The Archbishop accepted Lahey “in Christian charity, and believing it was the action that the Lord would want us to take.”

Lahey was arriving at the Ottawa airport from England Sept. 15 when a Canada Border Services agent noticed that the bishop — who’d made trips to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Spain and Germany — had visited source countries for child pornography.

She noted he was “evasive,” changed his tone of voice and avoided eye contact when asked if he had any digital media.

At secondary inspection, an agent allegedly found three images, including one of a young male with no pubic hair having his penis held by another young male.

Lahey was arrested for smuggling prohibited material into Canada. When questioned, Lahey allegedly said he was attracted to males aged 20 to 21.

Investigators concluded the images were “borderline” and they couldn’t say positively that the males were under 18. Lahey was released.

But using forensic software tools, police allege they found five more images on Lahey’s laptop of boys. Two — including one receiving fellatio while sitting on the edge of a pool — appear to be eight to 10 years old. The others looked to be nine to 12 years old.

Police stopped looking at the images and put the laptop, two cell phones, a hand-held device, memory sticks and USB cards into an evidence box while they obtained a warrant to search them.

Lahey turned himself in Oct. 1 and was released on strict conditions aimed at keeping him off the Internet and away from children.

Ottawa’s archbishop said he’s aware of the “serious charges” against Lahey.

“I pledge our complete co-operation with those responsible for the administration of justice in this case,” he wrote.

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