Pornography Charges Jail Ex-Priest

The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon)
December 14, 1989

A former priest and pornography shop owner was arrested Tuesday on charges out of California alleging he used teen-age boys in a child pornography ring, authorities said.

John Bauer, 52, was arrested Tuesday near an Interstate 90 exit just west of Spokane by FBI agents working with Spokane County sheriff's officials, the FBI said in a statement.

Bauer was booked into jail on a U.S. Marshal's hold.

He was expected to be extradited soon to Los Angeles, where he was wanted for allegedly "employing minors to commit illegal acts," the FBI statement said.

Bauer, who has been sought since April, is accused in Los Angeles of running a homosexual pornography ring that employed teen-age boys and runaways from Mexico.

Two other men were arrested earlier this year in the case and charged with conspiring to distribute child pornography -- Jerry Houchens, 49, of Santa Ana, Calif., and David Negrette, 26, of Huntington Beach, Calif.

Authorities in Los Angeles said those two were arrested in March and that police began investigating Bauer last year after an 18-year-old male prostitute who had stayed at Bauer's apartment reported seeing nude photographs of young boys on Bauer's bedroom wall.

Police said the youth also told them he saw marijuana growing on Bauer's balcony. Police obtained a search warrant for Bauer's apartment in August 1988 and seized about 150 videotapes, videotape equipment, commercial child pornography magazines, and marijuana.

Bauer was charged in August 1988 with misdemeanor cultivation of marijuana and released on $1,500 bond, since it is not a crime in California to possess child pornography.

But police said when they viewed the seized material, they found homemade tapes of Bauer molesting teen-age boys, some as young as 14.

In September 1988, police obtained a felony warrant to arrest Bauer for production of child pornography but he had already left the area.

Further investigation led to charges accusing Bauer and three other California men of distributing child pornography.

Bauer, a former Roman Catholic priest, was born and raised in Bozeman, Mont., He served from 1966-70 as director of Helena Catholic Charities.


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