Former Pastor Admits Having Child Porn

By Mike Faher
The Tribune Democrat [Pennsylvania]
October 25, 2005

A former Byzantine Catholic pastor in Cambria County faces prison time after admitting he possessed child pornography.

Jason R. Dolan, 31, of Portage pleaded guilty in Johnstown's federal court, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan announced Monday.

Dolan was pastor at SS. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church in Portage and St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church in South Fork.

He is scheduled for sentencingFeb. 28 before U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson.

Dolan was relieved of his pastoral duties in January by the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.

He cannot currently function as a priest.

A tribunal made up of church clergy is considering "what, if any, action should be taken in this case," said archeparchy spokeswoman Veronica Varga.

"He was placed on administrative leave, where he will remain until a decision from the tribunal is rendered," she said.

Neither Dolan nor his Pittsburgh-based attorney could be reached for comment.

It remains unclear what led authorities to investigate Dolan.

The FBI and state police conducted the probe.

In a release issued Monday, prosecutors said Dolan "knowingly possessed pictures and movies as computer graphic files containing images of child pornography" from April 27, 2004, to Jan. 3.

When Dolan was named in a one-count indictment in June, church officials said the criminal charges stemmed from "illegal materials on a personal computer obtained through the use of a private Internet account."

They said the matter was unrelated to any archeparchy church.

Dolan faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

While the felony charge carries a stiff maximum sentence, officials said Dolan's penalty will be based on "the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant."


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