Priest in Prison for Having Child Porn Appeals Sentence

By Chris Parker
Morning Call [Pennsylvania]
April 6, 2007,0,250444.story

A Schuylkill County Catholic priest who is serving a four- to 10-year state prison sentence for having massive amounts of child pornography has appealed his sentence to the state Superior Court and wants to stop the county from destroying the material.

The Rev. Ronald Yarrosh, 59, former assistant pastor at St. Ambrose Church in Schuylkill Haven, has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday on whether he can stop the destruction of the magazines, pictures, books and videotapes he kept in a rented storage bin in Hazleton and in a vacant home in Jim Thorpe.

District Attorney James P. Goodman said Yarrosh wants to stop the material from being destroyed at least until his appeal is resolved.

Yarrosh, formerly of 900 W. Market St., Orwigsburg, is now at Albion State Prison in Erie County.

President Judge William E. Baldwin sentenced Yarrosh on Nov. 21 after he violated terms of probation on convictions for possessing huge amounts of child pornography and embezzling money from the church. Baldwin then upheld the sentence Dec. 20.

Yarrosh had asked Baldwin to reduce the sentence, but admitted to violating the probation by sneaking to New York City to visit the 7-year-old daughter of a prostitute to whom he had paid $600 a month for sexual favors and for adding to his extensive pornography collection.

On Nov. 21, Yarrosh testified that he drove into the Lehigh Valley at least three times, then took a bus into New York City to visit with the child, once taking the girl on a three-and-a-half-hour excursion and later taking pictures of her.

Yarrosh, who was a little more than a year into the 10-year probation term when it was revoked in November, was arrested in 2004 for embezzling more than $23,000 from St. Ambrose Church and keeping child pornography on a church computer. He served three months on the embezzlement charge and was sentenced to probation on the child sex abuse charges.

Allentown Diocese spokesman Matt Kerr has said the diocese has taken action to remove Yarrosh from the priesthood.


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