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News: Former Bishop Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Child Pornography

Former Bishop Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Child Pornography

The former Bishop of the Archdioces of Antigonish, Nova Scotia today pleaded guilty to importing child pornography in an Ottawa courtroom.
Raymond Lahey was originally detained at the airport on September 15, 2009 in Ottawa, Ontario. During routine questioning at the border, Lahey became nervous when agents questioned him about having a laptop. Upon further inspection, agents at the border found suspicious materials on his laptop and seized it, but allowed Lahey to leave. Lahey quickly resigned as the Bishop and was formally arrested and charged on September 30, 2009.

Lahey's laptop was found to contain nearly 600 pornographic images and nearly 60 videos, most of the abuse of young boys. Lahey's trial was to start today in Ottawa and was expected to last three days, but instead the proceedings ended shortly after the guilty plea. Lahey also requested to have his bail revoked and go immediately to prison starting today.

Both the Vatican and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued statements after the guilty plea condemning Lahey's actions, with the Vatican saying, "The Catholic Church condemns sexual exploitation of all kinds, in particular when minors are targeted." The church also stated they were considering further action against Lahey.

Ironically, just prior to his arrest, Lahey had announced a financial settlement to a class-action lawsuit filed by victims of sexual abuse against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish. At that time he also offered an apology, stating he wanted to "formally apologize to every victim and to their families for the sexual abuse that was inflicted upon those young people who were entitled instead to the trust and protection of priests of the church. I want them to know how terribly sorry we are, how wrong this abuse was, and how we are now trying to right these past wrongs."

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