Ex-Priest Busted in Cop Trap with Teen

By Dan Kadison
New York Post
July 11, 2005

A defrocked Catholic priest from the Bronx was arrested Wednesday after allegedly trying to bring a teenage boy to a motel for an erotic photo shoot, sources told The Post.

Cops in upstate Rome, N.Y., busted James Tamburrino, 39, charging him with attempting to use a child in a sexual performance, a felony, a police source said.

Tamburrino was identified in a 2000 lawsuit as one of four Bronx priests who molested a teenage boy in exchange for paying him money. The church settled that suit with the family in 2002.

In the latest allegations, Sandra Baker said Tamburrino first approached her son the day before the ex-cleric's arrest.

He said he was a modeling agent and told the boy he had a "pretty face." He allegedly asked the boy if he'd pose for $200 and gave him his phone number. He approached the boy again the next day, said Baker.

That's when she called cops, who asked for her son's help.

The teen agreed, and in a recorded telephone call he told Tamburrino he was 15 at least five times, Baker said.

"The guy still continued. It didn't matter to him," said Baker. "He said he would make my son feel comfortable. He said he would start out with a massage . . . It's very sickening."

The boy met Tamburrino in a parking lot around 7 p.m. and pretended he was going for a soda before cops moved in and arrested the man.

Tamburrino "acted like he did nothing wrong," said Baker, who watched the sting unfold. "The whole time he stared at my son."

Tamburrino was released on $20,000 bail, cops said.


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