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Bishop Lahey sentenced to time served for child porn

By Lynn Curwin     Jan 4, 2012 in Crime
Raymond Lahey, the disgraced Canadian Roman Catholic bishop who was caught with hundreds of pornographic images of young boys, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison, and released on time served.
Lahey, 71, is the former head of the Diocese of Antigonish, in Nova Scotia.
He was arrested at the Ottawa airport in September 2009 after hundreds of pornographic photos of boys were found on his laptop and a handheld device. In May he entered a guilty plea to importing child pornography, and voluntarily went to jail at that time.
He was sentenced to 15 months in prison, but will receive a two-for-one credit for time served and has been released on probation. He was required to provide a DNA sample for the sex offender registry.
The court was told that Lahey's collection included Catholic images such as boys wearing crucifixes and rosary beads taking part in sex acts, as well as bondage and torture.
"They are graphic in the extreme," The Canadian Press quoted Crown attorney David Elhadad as saying.
Lahey told the court that deep down he wanted to be caught.
Lahey's lawyer, Michael Edelson, said Lahey's career with the church is over.
"I don't think he has any concrete plans yet. I have an idea what he is planning to do in the medium term, but I'm not going to disclose it," CTV News quoted him as saying.
During his two years probation Lahey will be required to submit to random searches. He is banned for 20 years from areas where children might gather, and from communicating with anyone under the age of 16 online.
A psychiatric assessment conducted last month concluded that Lahey was not a pedophile and was not a risk to the community.
The Diocese of Antigonish released a statement from Bishop Brian Joseph Dunn saying: "Church leaders are called to provide good example and to show moral integrity in their lives. When they commit serious moral failures, this can have a significant impact on the faith community. This is especially so when it involves the crime of child pornography."
He added that he regrets so many people have been "disturbed and upset by these sad events."
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