Priest Faces Child Porn Charges in Massachusetts

Union Leader
January 3, 2003

Nashua (AP) -- A Massachusetts priest accused of using a computer to solicit a 15-year-old boy for sex also faces child pornography charges in Massachusetts, according to court records.

The Rev. Frederick Guthrie, 65, of Newbury, Mass., was arrested in November 2001 at a Nashua ice cream stand, where police say he had arranged to meet an undercover detective who was posing on-line as a 15-year-old boy.

Guthrie is charged with one count of using a computer to solicit a minor. Guthrie's lawyer has said the case should be dismissed because prosecutors have failed to proceed quickly enough.

After Guthrie's arrest, police seized his computer from his home in Newbury, Mass., to gather evidence relating to the Nashua charges. A Secret Service analysis of the computer found child pornography on it, according to court records.

In November, child pornography charges were filed against Guthrie in Newburyport (Mass.) District Court.

Guthrie's trial in Nashua originally was set for May, but it was postponed at Guthrie's request because of the intense publicity surrounding sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, according to court records.

Guthrie is on health leave and did not have a parish assignment at the time of his arrest. He completed his last assignment as pastor of St. Ann's Parish in Gloucester, Mass., on July 1.

The Archdiocese of Boston suspended his priestly duties following his arrest.


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