Austria Sentences 'Porn' Priest

BBC News [Austria]
August 13, 2004

Police say the images were found on the student's computer

A Polish student priest at the centre of a sex scandal at a Roman Catholic seminary in Austria has been convicted of possessing child pornography.

The man, identified as Piotr Z., 27, was given a six-month suspended jail sentence for downloading hundreds of images from the internet.

The affair has shocked Austria and embarrassed the Roman Catholic Church.

On Thursday, the Vatican closed down the seminary in St Poelten which had "veered away from its mission".

The authorities say images of child pornography and violent sex were found on the college's main computer as well as the student's hard drive.

The images are also reported to include pictures of students kissing and fondling each other and their older instructors.

The trainee priest is the only person charged over the scandal.

He could have received a maximum of two years in prison.

But the judge at the St Poelten court said he had considered the man's "factual confession" as an extenuating circumstance in passing sentence.