West Palm Beach Priest Accused of Showing Child Porn to Teen
By Kate Jacobson
January 6, 2015
A West Palm Beach priest was arrested for obscenity after he was accused of showing child pornography to a teen boy from his parish.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies said the Rev. Jose Palimattom, who is doing a two-year residency at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach, showed a 14-year-old boy child pornography on his cell phone after Mass on Sunday.
|Father Jose Palimattom, 47, is accused of showing child pornography to a teen boy. (The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office)|
According to an arrest report, Palimattom asked the boy to help him delete files off his phone. The two met after the service and the boy found about 40 pornographic images of young boys between the ages of 10 and 18 on Palimattom's phone.
He gave the phone back to Palimattom and immediately told a friend, who told him to tell another staff member at the church. The boy's father called deputies after the family returned home from Mass.
According to the report, later that night, Palimattom sent the boy a Facebook message that said, "Goodnight, sweet dreams."
Holy Name Catholic Church directed all questions to the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach County.
According to the diocese, Palimattom, a visiting priest from India, has only been at the church since December.
In a statement, Diocese spokeswoman Dianne Laubert said the church did a thorough screening of Palimattom before his arrival in the U.S., and found no prior misconduct.
"The Diocese of Palm Beach is greatly concerned and takes very seriously the charges against Father Jose Palimattom," Laubert wrote. "Upon learning about the allegations, the Diocese of Palm Beach immediately contacted authorities and cooperated in the investigation conducted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office."
Palimattom told deputies in an interview that he had been reprimanded at his church in India for being "involved with a minor male," but that incident was not reported to police.
According to the report, the head pastor at Holy Name Catholic Church told deputies that when Palimattom joined, he was told he was to have no contact with minors without another adult present.
Palimattom told deputies Monday that he specifically asked the boy to help him remove the pornography from his phone. He said he knew what the boy had seen was inappropriate and he had "already asked for forgiveness during confession," according to the report.
Palimattom is charged with obscenity and is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
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