Catholic Deacon Sentenced for Pornography Charge

WTOL [Toledo OH]
March 30, 2005

TOLEDO -- A judge has sentenced a Roman Catholic deacon to three years and one month in prison for possession of child pornography. 46-year-old J. Michael Tynan pleaded guilty in November after US Customs agents confiscated his laptop last June and found more than 600 pornographic images.

The Reverend Michael Billian, a spokesman, says the Toledo Diocese has asked the Vatican to remove Tynan from the ministry. Until that happens, Tynan remains an ordained deacon.

In a story first broadcast last October, News 11 reported Tynan was an intern at Saint Aloysius Church in Bowling Green for about 10 months. The diocese says it has not had any complaints about Tynan at that church. "Nothing came up in any of the evaluations that there was something inappropriate," said Billian in an interview from October 2004.

The pastor of Saint Aloysius, Father Ed Schleter, didn't go on camera in October, but did say he thought Tynan was going to be a good priest, and related well with all ages. He calls the news about Tynan's charges disappointing and discouraging.

The diocese admits authorities first learned about the problems in June of 2004, but deny claims of any kind of coverup. "You have to give the authorities the room to do their job an we didn't have the option. We were ordered to be silent about this issue," said Billian in October of 2004.

As a part of the sentence, Tynan was also ordered to serve five years' probation.


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