Porn Case Ends Priest's Work

By David Unze
St. Cloud Times (Minnesota)
February 1, 2008

A St. Cloud diocese priest who once served in Pearl Lake and St. Nicholas had his priestly duties removed by Bishop John Kinney late Wednesday after numerous images of child pornography were found on his home computer.

The Rev. John Lloyd Caskey, 53, was charged Wednesday in Stevens County District Court with possessing child pornography. Kinney immediately removed Caskey's priestly duties, according to a news release from Kinney.

Caskey made his first court appearance on the charges Thursday afternoon. Judge Gerald Seibel set bail at $10,000 and ordered Caskey to have no unsupervised contact with anyone younger than 18 years old, no access to the Internet and no access to pornography, according to Stevens County Attorney Charles Glasrud.

A court complaint charging Caskey with 20 counts of possessing child pornography indicates that more than 8,600 images of suspected child pornography were found on Caskey's home computer after it was searched by law enforcement. Caskey had given police permission to search his home and work computer after he was interviewed about "anonymous, obscene and suggestive" letters that had been sent to an 18-year-old male student, according to the complaint.

Caskey admitted to sending the letters, according to the complaint, and allowed officers to search his home and work computers.

The statement says Kinney learned about the charges against Caskey by reading a news article on the Web site of a Morris newspaper. Caskey was pastor of Assumption Parish in Morris and administrator at St. Mary's in Chokio and St. Charles in Herman. He resigned from those duties in December, when Kinney learned that Caskey had sent the inappropriate letters to the unidentified student.

Since Caskey's resignation in December, he has not worked in active ministry, Kinney said.

"I was taken by surprise by these allegations," Kinney wrote in his news release. "I have not received any complaints in the past about Father Caskey from any of the parishes he has served nor have I had any information that would cause me to be concerned."

An assignment history provided by the diocese indicates that Caskey served as pastor at Holy Cross in Pearl Lake and St. Nicholas in St. Nicholas from July 1992 to June 2000.


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