Priest Convicted in Porn Case Back in Court

By Brian Krans
Quad-Cities Online [Iowa]
September 21, 2006

An inactive Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex offender described by prosecutors as a "a danger to children" was in federal court Wednesday for allegedly violating his parole on a 2004 child pornography conviction.

The Rev. Richard J. Poster Jr., 41, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant seeking revocation of his supervised release. Authorities allege he has had contact with children and has watched children for sexual purposes, violating the terms of his parole.

In 2002, Rev. Poster -- who is in the process of being defrocked -- was working as the director of liturgy and publisher of the newspaper for the Diocese of Davenport. He had been a priest for 10 years. In December that year, diocesan officials discovered child pornography on a church computer and turned it over to authorities, according to court records.

He was sentenced in 2004 to one year and a day in prison after pleading guilty to receiving pictures of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to court records. He served eight months before beginning three years of supervised release.

He took a job with the diocese maintenance staff following his release from federal prison.

In 2004, Rev. Poster's name was among five priests the Davenport Diocese requested be defrocked by the Vatican. Rev. Poster's case is still in progress, Deacon David Montgomery said Wednesday. He is no longer associated with the diocese.

According to prosecutors, Rev. Poster said at his sentencing that he was addicted to child pornography, but never would have contact with children.

"That's not true." Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Allegro said at a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Davenport.

As part of his release from prison, Rev. Poster was required to stay away from children and register as a sex offender.

Rev. Poster admitted to riding his bike near Buffalo Elementary School, having contact with a child at a book store and watching children for sexual purposes, Mr. Allegro said.

Those were all "predatory tendencies," Mr. Allegro said, arguing to keep Rev. Poster detained until a hearing Tuesday on the alleged violations. The full details of the allegations were kept under judge's seal.

Leon Spies, Rev. Poster's attorney, requested rigid electronic monitoring allowing his client to go to and from his job at a pharmaceutical company. He also said Rev. Poster currently lives under the supervision of his parents in Blue Grass.

District Court Judge Thomas Shields said he wasn't satisfied that Rev. Poster didn't pose a danger to children.

"I cannot ignore matters that I feel are too close to the edge," he said.

Staff writer Brian Krans can be reached at (309) 786-6441 or, Ext. 271.


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