Priest Pleads Guilty to Charges of Child Porn Possession
Holtey Receiving Counseling at Maryland Rehab Center [San Diego CA]
February 10, 2005

SAN DIEGO -- A Roman Catholic priest whose Point Loma office contained child erotica and gay porn videos when agents searched it last year pleaded guilty Thursday to 10 misdemeanor counts of possession of child pornography.

The Rev. Gary Michael Holtey, 59, is scheduled to be sentenced March 10 by Superior Court Commissioner Sandra L. Berry.

Ten additional counts of possession of child porn were dismissed.

Each count carries a penalty of a year in jail, but prosecutors won't ask for any more custody, said Head Deputy City Attorney Timothy E. Campen.

"We're not asking him to go to jail now," Campen said outside court.

If Holtey reoffends with similar crimes, custody would be appropriate, Campen said.

A condition of probation would be that Holtey continue counseling, which he is currently receiving at a Maryland rehabilitation center, the prosecutor said.

Agents searched the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and Academy parish office last May 6 and found printouts of child porn and film negatives of nude men and computer equipment, according to court documents.

"The defendant has a sexual preference for young boys," Deputy City Attorney Judy Taschner told a judge at Holtey's Dec. 22 arraignment. "All minors are potential victims in his presence."

Defense attorney Daniel Williams said at the time that the San Diego Catholic Diocese was providing financial and emotional support for Holtey's stay in Maryland.

Holtey is one of more than 100 people in San Diego and Imperial counties who have been under scrutiny as part of an international investigation and linked to child pornography sites through credit card transactions, authorities said.

Holtey told investigators that he had looked at child porn for years on the Internet and that the investigators would find material he had collected in a chest of drawers next to his bed, prosecutors said. He also admitted downloading the material in his office, they said.

Holtey was pastor of the St. Charles parish until he went on leave and resigned shortly after church officials were notified of the May 6 raid, authorities said.


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