TORONTO – A Canadian Roman Catholic bishop who admitted he was addicted to looking at child pornography has been sentenced to 15 months in jail, but he should be released Wednesday with credit for time served.
Bishop Raymond Lahey was arrested at the Ottawa airport in 2009 after customs authorities found almost 600 pornographic photos of young teen boys on his laptop and a handheld device.
Some of the porn involved adolescent boys engaged in sex acts while wearing a crucifix and rosary beads.
The case was especially shocking to Canadians because Lahey had overseen a multimillion-dollar settlement for clerical sexual abuse victims in his diocese before he was charged.
Lahey pleaded guilty last May to one count of importing child pornography and voluntarily went to jail to begin serving time before his formal sentencing.
Ontario Court Justice Kent Kirkland on Wednesday gave Lahey two-for-one credit for the time he served. Double credit is not unusual.
Lahey will have to submit a DNA sample and register as a sex offender. He also will have to allow searches of his personal and office computers when required by the authorities.
At a sentencing hearing last month, Lahey offered an apology to his church and to victims of child pornography. He said his addiction to internet porn went against his moral principles.
After he pleaded guilty, the Vatican said the church would impose its own disciplinary measures against him but did not elaborate.
Prelates who sexually abuse minors can be defrocked. Lesser punishments include being forbidden from celebrating Mass publicly.
Lahey resigned as head of the Catholic diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia just before the charges became public.