Priest Held in Video Sex Abuse Case

Associated Press, carried in Chicago Tribune
July 30, 1992

The chance discovery of a pornographic videotape bought at a flea market led police to arrest a Roman Catholic priest who allegedly molested a teenage boy, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

The Rev. Myles White, 51, pastor of St. Martin of Tours church in Kankakee, Ill., was being held in the Marshall County jail pending an initial court appearance Thursday.

White was arrested Tuesday at a Culver home owned by the Joliet, Ill., diocese, Deputy Prosecutor Curt Palmer said.

"When Father White was arrested, he was in the process of cutting up and burning Polaroid photographs of other young nude males," Palmer said. "And the pieces of those, and those ashes of those that had been burned, were confiscated, as were a number of adult magazines."

The priest began destroying the photos after police called to ask him about the videotape, Palmer said.

Illinois police who searched his Kankakee home found pornographic magazines and other videotapes, Kankakee Police Chief Tim Nugent said.

The videotapes will be reviewed, Palmer said.

Palmer said White, a native of Chicago, faces two charges of criminal deviate conduct alleging he engaged in oral sex and fondled a child. The charges carry a total maximum prison term of 11 years upon conviction.

The boy was 14 or 15 when the incident occurred in 1990, Palmer said. He is now 17 years old and lives in Manteno, Ill., and said he was not aware the 30-minute liaison had been taped, Palmer said.

Sister Judith Davies, chancellor of the diocese, said the church was "shocked and saddened," and said White has been suspended.

"Any persons who believe that they or a family member may have been inappropriately involved with Father White are encouraged to come forward so that spiritual, professional or any other help can be offered," Sister Davies said.

Palmer said White had not hired a lawyer, and a sheriff's dispatcher said White would be permitted to speak only to a lawyer or clerics.

The incident came to light after an acquaintance of Palmer purchased a tape of a 1991 festival parade in Culver, the prosecutor said.

"At the end of the parade was a video of what turned out to be Rev. White and a young male having sex," he said. Culver police identified the man as White, he said.

White himself taped the festival, Palmer said. "It appears as though he had either forgotten or just made a mistake and used this particular tape which had the pornographic scene on it," he said.

The person who sold the tape was not aware of the sex scene, the prosecutor said.

White became pastor at St. Martin in 1988 after serving 10 years at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Monee, Ill.


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