Prosecutor Says Davenport Priest Is Danger to Kids

The Associated Press, carried in Des Moines Register [Iowa]
September 27, 2006

A court hearing for a Roman Catholic priest arrested last week for violating his parole on pornography possession charges has been delayed.

The Rev. Richard Poster, 41, was arrested last week for allegedly having contact with children at the Barnes & Noble book store in Davenport, on an area bike path and in Buffalo, Iowa, where he had been living with his parents, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Allegro.

Allegro's office has alleged that Poster went near the Buffalo Elementary School and masturbated while watching children.

Allegro said Poster indicated at his sentencing on the child pornography charge that he never went near children.

"We now know that's not true," Allegro said.

He said the recent allegations are evidence that Poster displays predatory tendencies.

Poster's attorney, Leon Spies, said his client wasn't a risk to flee or to harm children if he's released.

Spies also said there is a lack of evidence that some of the people Poster had contact with were minors.

Poster was to make an appearance in federal court Tuesday, but the hearing was canceled. A new date for the hearing had not been set.

He remains in custody.

The Rev. Bob Gruss, chancellor of the Davenport diocese, said Poster worked for the diocese as a janitor after he was released from prison on parole. However, Poster was told to find other work in October. Gruss would not say why Poster was asked to leave.

The diocese sent a request to the Vatican in June 2004 to defrock Poster, but no decision has been made, Gruss said.

Poster was sentenced to a year in federal prison on possession of child pornography charges in January 2004. The charges were filed after officials with the diocese found pornography on a work computer that Poster used.


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