Kalispell Priest Faces Child Porn Charge
By Scott Zoltan
March 22, 2012
Rudy Bullman, a longtime priest at the Risen Christ Catholic Church in Kalispell, has been accused of sexual abuse of children. Prosecutors charged Bullman with the felony after investigators said they found child porn on his computer.
The investigation started in October, when a woman purchased a gaming system from Bullman and reported it held pictures of naked young boys.
“There were some images on there that disturbed the person, so that started our investigation,” said Flathead Sheriff Chuck Curry.
Bullman allegedly told investigators that he used the system to view gay porn, but that he only accessed sites which represented the boys were over eighteen. Court documents say investigators found child pornography on his computer. After being charged, Bullman was released on his own recognizance.
“It’s important to note I think in this case that he is not charged with any sort of actual physical offense,” said Curry. “He’s charged with sexual abuse of children in the portion of the statute that relates to possessing pornographic images of children.”
Bullman was put in administrative leave back in December, when the Diocese learned of the investigation.
“The actions taken by Bishop Thomas immediately putting Father Bullman on administrative leave during the course of the investigation would speak to how seriously we take allegations like this,” said Renee St. Martin-Wizeman, the Director of Communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena.
A representative for the Survivors’ Network of Those Abused By Priests spoke to NBC Montana on Wednesday.
“I’m sure every parent in that parish is thinking ‘My lord, did he take pictures of my child? You know, was he just looking at pictures? Was he taking pictures? Was he doing things?‘” said SNAP Outread Director Barbara Dorris.
Reverend Bullman is scheduled to enter a plea on March 29th in a Flathead district