Former Priest, Scoutmaster Sentenced in Child Porn Case

By Michael D. Harris
United Press International
September 24, 1990

Los Angeles - A former Roman Catholic priest pleaded no contest Monday to charges that he produced and appeared in child pornography films and was sentenced to eight years in state prison.

A co-defendant, a former assistant Boy Scoutmaster, also pleaded no contest to appearing in one of the films and was sentenced to one year in County Jail.

The former priest, John Bauer, 53, of Hollywood, entered his pleas to three counts of employing minors for sexual purposes and one count of conspiracy to employ minors for sexual purposes.

He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Lance Ito.

"We offered Bauer 10 years in prison, but the judge, after reviewing the facts of the case, agreed on eight years," said Deputy District Attorney Terry White. "That's his prerogative."

The former assistant Boy Scoutmaster, David Negrette, 27, of Huntington Beach, pleaded no contest to the conspiracy count and, along with one year in County Jail, was sentenced to five years probation.

A third man charged in the case, Jerry Houchens, 50, of Santa Ana, pleaded guilty in February to a misdemeanor obscenity charge and was placed on probation. A fourth defendant, Victor Feliciano, 30, a former Rosemead handyman, is a fugitive.

White said Bauer operated a ring that produced pornographic videotapes of young boys in Mexico and his Hollywood apartment and distributed them worldwide.

Along with directing the films, Bauer also appeared in the videotapes, where he was seen having sex with the boys.

Police said the suspects picked up boys aged 8 to 15 on the streets of Ensenada, Mexico, and took them to motel rooms to videotape them in sexual encounters with each other and with the suspects. About five to 10 of the films were produced in Mexico, White said.

The suspects also picked up boys in Hollywood and took them to Bauer's apartment, where another seven to 10 films were produced.

Authorities said the four suspects are members of the North American Man-Boy Love Association, an organization that advocates sex between boys and adult men.

The case came to the attention of Los Angeles police in 1988, when a young boy told authorities at Children of the Night, a Hollywood shelter for runaways, that he had been picked up by Bauer and taken to the ex- priest's apartment, where he saw photographs of nude boys.

Police went to the apartment in the 1500 block of North Martel Avenue and removed a truckload of videotapes and videotaping equipment.

Bauer was apparently ordained in 1963, but left the priesthood in 1970 after coming into conflict with church superiors because of his support of the gay rights movement.


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