Boston Police: South Boston Priest Charged with Possession of Child Pornography

By Brian R. Ballou and John R. Ellement
Boston Globe
August 1, 2012

A 39-year-old Roman Catholic priest assigned to a South Boston parish was arrested by Boston police yesterday for allegedly having pornographic images of children on his computer.

The Rev. Andrew J. Urbaniak was arrested Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. on charges of possession and dissemination of child pornography, according to Boston police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca.

Urbaniak is the pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in South Boston, a parish in the Archdiocese of Boston that ministers to the city’s Polish community.

In a statement today, the Archdiocese said that Urbaniak has been placed on administrative leave due to his arrest. Urbaniak is a Franciscan priest whose religious superiors are based in Poland, the archdiocese said.

“Urbaniak’s faculties have been suspended and he is not allowed to function as a priest in the Archdiocese,’’ the statement said. “The Archdiocese is fully cooperating with law enforcement. The Church prays for all those impacted by these events and is committed to providing for the pastoral care of the parish during this difficult time.’’

According to Boston police, Urbaniak has been assigned to the South Boston church for the last four years.

In a statement, police said that no one has contacted them to report they were personally vicitmized by Urbaniak. The investigation is ongoing.

He was arrested following a two-month investigation by the Boston police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the State Police Crimes Against Children Unit.

Individuals who wish to provide investigators with anonymous information are encouraged to contact the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or text the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently protect the identities of those who wish to remain anonymous.

Urbaniak was held last night on $25,000 cash bail and is due to be arraigned today in South Boston Municipal Court.


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