Former Priest Sentenced to 10 Years in Jail for Child Porn Charges

August 13, 2004

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) A former Morgan City priest will go to jail for 10 years after being convicted for a second time on child pornography charges.

Patrick R. Kujawa, 35, was sentenced Thursday after being removed from the priesthood after he was arrested in February. Investigators found hundreds of explicit images on his home computer, according to federal prosecutors.

Kujawa was on probation after pleading guilty in 2000 to 15 counts of possessing child pornography.

Kujawa could face up to 60 more years in jail when re-sentenced on Sept. 17 for the 2000 pornography charges.

The charges resulted in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux removing the priest from his post as associate pastor at Holy Cross Church in Morgan City.

He had been living at a Benedictine monastery near Prairie Ronde, where a judge had ordered him to stay when not working or attending therapy on probation.

Kujawa was arrested again earlier this year in an undercover investigation of Internet sites that charged money for viewing child pornography, said Luke Walker, assistant U.S. attorney. A search of Kujawa's computer uncovered 300 digital images and 100 digital movie files of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, authorities said.