|Area Priest Headed for Court over Child Porn
By Rory Sweeney
November 5, 2009
‘Father Bob’ Timchak also faces a charge involving attempts to delete images from his computer.
The Rev. Robert Timchak, known to many in the region as “Father Bob,” Wednesday waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges related to possessing male child pornography on his computers at the St. Vincent Church in Pike County, according to his attorney, Joseph Petorak
The hearing was to be before District Judge Alan Cooper in Shohola. Timchak, a Roman Catholic priest who has spoken out against the church as a columnist for The Times Leader, faces 18 felony counts relating to having images of males in various stages of nudity performing sexual acts, at least 18 of which were identified by a medical doctor as depicting males younger than 18 years old.
He also faces a misdemeanor charge for attempting to delete some of the evidence.
According to the criminal complaint:
The Diocese of Scranton was made aware of the alleged crime in December 2008, when it received an anonymous letter containing explicit photographs of young males and online comments that linked to the identity “booker1441” on Web sites Xtube.com and Youtube.com. The Youtube account was closed in July 2008.
The letter included the cover of a bulletin from the St. John Neumann and Good Shepherd churches in Pike County, listing Timchak’s e-mail address as: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Coincidence? You do the math,” the letter stated.
Within a week, the state police at Blooming Grove received the letter and its contents. In April, two troopers contacted Timchak at the St. Vincent Church’s rectory in Dingman Township.
He acknowledged ownership of two computers, of which he was the sole user, along with the e-mail accounts email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. He said he often visited Web sites such as Youtube.com, Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Godtube.com and Teathertube.com, but said he closed his Youtube account “sometime ago” because a female parishioner questioned some of the videos he was watching.
Timchak consented to a search of both computers and called back two days later to admit that after learning state police wanted to talk to him, he had attempted to delete the images.
The subsequent search turned up the images, which were sent to Dr. Andi Taroli of the Pegasus Child Advocacy Center in Scranton. Taroli reported that at least 18 of the images were of underage males. Those were then sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which reported that those images were of identified child victims from two series known as “Brad&Bry” and “Jesse.”
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