Judge Raises the Possibility of Prison for Syracuse Priest Accused of Child Porn
By Douglass Dowty
August 12, 2014
Syracuse, NY -- An Onondaga County Court judge today warned a Syracuse priest that if he continues to fight child pornography charges and loses, he could wind up behind bars.
Robert Ours, 65, was charged in May with six counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. The retired priest, who led churches in the Southern Tier, lives at a residence for priests in Syracuse.
The Syracuse Diocese alerted authorities to the allegations against Ours earlier this year, and the diocese cooperated with the investigation, prosecutors have said.
Plea negotiations have gone on all summer, but Ours is still contesting the charges.
Today, County Court Judge Joseph Fahey set a hearing for Sept. 4 to determine whether authorities properly investigated the computer with the child porn.
Then the judge raised the stakes with this promise: if Ours goes ahead with the hearing contesting the charges, any possibility of getting probation will be off the table.
That means that Ours would be sent to local jail or state prison if convicted.