St. Louis Priest Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charge

By Robert Patrick
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 31, 2010

A St. Louis priest on Wednesday pleaded guilty in federal court in St. Louis to a child pornography charge and admitted both possessing child porn and agreeing to pay for a sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Under the plea deal, Father James Grady, 58, now faces six years, eight months in federal prison, and will have to register as a sex offender upon his release. But prosecutors dropped two charges: attempting to obtain a minor for a commercial sex act and using interstate commerce to attempt to entice or coerce someone under 18 to engage in prostitution or sexual activity. Grady could have faced a minimum of 10 years in prison on those charges.

Grady's lawyer declined to comment after the hearing.

Grady, then-pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Church in south St. Louis, was arrested July 29 during a sex sting run by the FBI and local police, after he agreed to pay for sex with a 16-year-old. Prosecutors and investigators said Grady was responding to an ad in the the "adult services" section of the Craigslist website.

Prosecutors added new charges after they said they discovered pornographic images of young girls on his laptop computer.

On Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Marcus said that after his arrest, Grady admitted viewing but not downloading child porn. Investigators then discovered more than 100 images of child porn, Marcus said.

Grady was scheduled to go to trial April 12 on the charges.

St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has suspended Grady pending the outcome of the case.


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