Explicit Photos Allegedly Found on Priest's PC

By Greg Fields
Myrtle Beach Sun-News
June 19, 2001

GEORGETOWN: A Georgetown priest was arrested Friday for allegedly having explicit photographs on his personal computer of minors having sex.

The Rev. Gerald J. Ryfinski, 46, of 810 Highmarket St., was charged Friday with third degree sexual exploitation of a minor. At the time of his arrest, Ryfinski was serving as priest of St. Mary's Catholic Church, a news release said.

He appeared before Judge Mary Alice Williams for a bail hearing Saturday morning and was released after posting a $5,000 surety bond.

"Father Ryfinski had taken his computer to a repair shop. During the course of analyzing the computer's hard drive, the repairman discovered pictures of minors engaged in sex acts," said Sheriff Lane Cribb in a news release. "The Sheriff's Office was notified."

Police obtained a search warrant Wednesday for the seizure of the computer. After the computer was analyzed, thousands of files of pornographic pictures involving minors were found, police said.

Investigators from the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office and the Georgetown Police Department obtained a search warrant for Ryfinski's home, where a large collection of computer discs and video tapes was found, according to police.

Investigators are reviewing the material to see if it contains any pornography or explicit material.

All items confiscated were taken to the Sheriff's Office.


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