Priest Faces Child Porn Charges

By Mark Repasky
Capital News 9 [Albany NY]
May 31, 2007

Prosecutors say Canadian officials contacted the Department of Homeland Security in May after coming across the screen name "nudistdude23." The Canadian investigation turned up online chat records in which the screen name indicated he was sexually abusing his stepchildren.

With records from Yahoo and Verizon, DHS linked that screen name to Raymond Ethier, a pastor at St. John Vianney Parish. Either was arrested and now faces two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. He is free on bond.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has placed Either on administrative leave.

In a written statement, Bishop Howard Hubbard said, "The allegations against Father Ethier are very serious and very troubling. The diocese will await the final decision of a court as to their validity. A determination as to Father Ethier's status as a priest will be made once the judicial process has concluded."

Mark Lyman of SNAP, or the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, said that's not soon enough.

"I think immediate removal of this priest is certainly something that is going to have to happen right away. And, I think we're going to have to look to the congregation, the members of the church, to find out if, in fact, this abuse has gone on beyond just this one incident," Lyman said.

Ethier's attorney, Dan Stuart, said he will be seeking medial treatment at a facility in Maryland. As part of his release, he will be required to wear an electronic surveillance bracelet and cannot use the Internet or come into contact with any minors.


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