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  Ex-Priest Sentenced in Child Porn Case

By Richard Burgess
Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, LA)
August 13, 2004

LAFAYETTE - A former Morgan City priest was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison on a federal child pornography charge - his second pornography conviction.

Patrick R. Kujawa, 35, who was removed from the priesthood in connection with the first case, was arrested in February after agents found hundreds of illicit images on his home computer, according to federal prosecutors.

The arrest came while the former Catholic priest was on probation after pleading guilty in 2000 to 15 counts of possessing child pornography. Those charges arose while he was serving as associate pastor at Holy Cross Church in Morgan City and prompted the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodeaux to remove Kujawa from his post.

In the recent case, Kujawa was caught in an investigation of Internet sites that sell child pornography, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Walker. He said agents obtained a search warrant for Kujawa's home after his credit card number was found in business records of one of the online pornography dealers.

"He had reams of child pornography on his computer - young boys," Walker said.

Kujawa was arrested while living on the grounds of a Benedictine monastery near Opelousas, where a judge had ordered him to remain while on probation for the 2000 pornography charges.

The judge also ordered that Kujawa not have Internet access. Walker said agents were immediately suspicious when they eyed a high-end satellite Internet connection on the roof of Kujawa's mobile home.

"When we saw the dish on the roof, that kind of tipped us off," he said.

The 10-year sentence Kujawa received on the federal charges was mandatory because he had a prior pornography conviction.

He faces an additional 10 years to 60 years when re-sentenced on Sept. 17 in St. Mary Parish in connection with the 2000 pornography conviction.

Kujawa's attorney, Edward Marquet, said that in legal wranglings over whether his probation should be revoked on the prior charges, a judge ruled that the original sentence, which did not include jail time, was more lenient than the law allowed.

 
 

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