Feds: Child Porn Found on Former Priest's Computer

By Dan Hinkel
November 7, 2009

Federal prosecutors say a forensic study of a laptop owned by a former Catholic priest -- already charged with sexually enticing a 15-year-old boy -- has turned up child pornography.

Hammond federal prosecutors have ordered another computer examination to determine whether Wayne Wigglesworth, of Valparaiso, should face child pornography charges, according to a court motion for a continuance filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Trumbull-Harris.

Chicago police turned the forensic report over to Trumbull-Harris on Wednesday, and she concluded the next day that the forensic search recovered child pornography from the laptop, according to the motion.

Trumbull-Harris' motion seeks a continuance of Wigglesworth's Nov. 23 trial date so the laptop can be analyzed again. A judge will have to rule on the motion,

Wigglesworth's defense lawyer, Nick Thiros, declined comment Friday.

Wigglesworth, who was a priest in Maryland decades ago, was arrested Aug. 17 when Chicago police pulled him over moments after he picked up the 15-year-old boy at 60th Street and Rockwell Avenue in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, according to a federal agent's report. Once police pulled the two out of the car, the boy told officers he met Wigglesworth on a few weeks prior and the two talked on the phone and exchanged text messages, the agent wrote. Prosecutors claim that on the day of their in-person meeting, Wigglesworth called the boy and suggested they could have oral sex and "hold and hug" each other.

Trumbull-Harris has said Valparaiso police warned Wigglesworth in February about text messages he allegedly sent to a 9-year-old-boy.

Wigglesworth has been ordered detained before trial, but his defense team has asked for a review of that order.

Shortly after his arrest, Wigglesworth told a judge he could not afford private counsel, and the judge appointed a federal public defender. Later, private lawyers Nick and James Thiros signed onto Wigglesworth's defense. Trumbull-Harris has asked a judge to order Wigglesworth to repay the public defender's expenses.

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