Priest Pleads Guilty to Having Child Porn on Computer

By Steve Warmbir
Chicago Sun-Times [Illinois]
June 21, 2006

A former northwest suburban hospital chaplain pleaded guilty Tuesday to having images of child pornography on his computer -- more than 600 images, some of them violent, prosecutors allege.

Rev. Daniel Schulte, 53, a Vincentian priest who worked at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates in 2005, could face up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in September.

Schulte now lives in St. Louis with other priests in his order, the Congregation of the Mission, but he has been stripped of the ability to perform any priestly duties.

His order won't begin to consider removing him from the priesthood until he serves his prison sentence, said Rev. Raymond Van Dorpe, the order's assistant provincial.

Schulte, who previously served at St. Vincent de Paul parish in Lincoln Park in the early 1990s, did not have contact with children at the hospital. The order had no previous complaints about him, Van Dorpe said.

Schulte had pictures and videos depicting children under the age of 12 in various sex acts on his computer hard drive, according to his plea agreement.

He is expected to dispute the number of images, which could influence the time he serves behind bars.

Schulte lived in the DePaul University neighborhood last year and was accessing the Internet through a university server when officials notified his superiors that he could be accessing child pornography through his computer.

FBI gets computer

Confronted about this, Schulte turned over his computer to the order, which sent it to the FBI.

The priest is under the supervision of another priest in St. Louis, as well as court supervision, and has no contact with children, Van Dorpe said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Drury said in court that prosecutors could argue at sentencing that Schulte has not accepted responsibility for his actions. Drury did not expand on his statement.


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