Priest Gets 7 Years for Child Porn

Associated Press, carried in New York Times
October 31, 2006

Chicago (AP) -- A Roman Catholic priest charged with possessing violent child pornography was sentenced Tuesday to more than seven years in prison by a federal judge who said she could not "help but be appalled."

The Rev. Daniel Schulte, 54, must register as a sex offender when he is released from his 87-month sentence, give up computers and never have unsupervised access to minors, District Judge Blanche M. Manning said.

"He has victimized young children, possibly scarring them for life," Manning said, giving Schulte the maximum under federal guidelines. "The court cannot help but be appalled."

In a quiet voice, Schulte said he was sorry about "the children whose innocence I've stolen by downloading child pornography" and apologized for "the embarrassment and scandal I've caused for others."

His attorney, Patrick Cotter, pleaded with Manning to show mercy, saying that Schulte had never been accused of touching any children, merely of downloading images, and that his client had been sexually abused as a child.

Schulte remains a priest but could be defrocked later, said the Rev. Raymond Van Dorpe, assistant provincial at the mission in Earth City, Mo., where Schulte worked when he was charged. Schulte's Internet service provider had contacted the order with the suspicion that child porn had been accessed.


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