Priest Pleads Guilty to Downloading Child Porn

Daily Freeman
November 16, 2007

HUDSON - A 50-year-old priest pleaded guilty to charges he possessed child pornography that he downloaded on his computer.

Raymond Ethier, of Hudson, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Albany to a one count charging him with the possession of child pornography. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Ethier was living in Hudson when his computer was recovered from his residence and forensically examined. During the investigation, 21 computer videos and a number of still images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct were recovered, the release said. The release said that while there were 21 videos, there were only seven separate and distinct ones because some had been downloaded multiple times.

Ethier downloaded the videos and images from a file sharing program and some came from individuals outside the state, the release said. The release also said the videos and still images and the computer used to obtain them were transported in interstate and foreign commerce and were produced using materials that had been mailed or shipped or transported in interstate and foreign commerce.

When he was interviewed by law enforcement personnel on May 10, Ethier admitted he had downloaded the videos approximately 10 months prior and that they depicted teen and preteen boys performing sexual acts, according to the release. The release said he also acknowledged that his computer contained "nudist-type" images of children. When he was re-interviewed on May 29, Ethier admitted he had downloaded and saved the videos after communicating with an individual online and on the telephone who told him he could obtain the pornography through a file sharing program called "Limewire," the release said.

At the time he downloaded the images, Ethier was a priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. A diocese spokesman said Ethier has been on administrative leave since his arrest and is currently residing in a voluntary residential treatment program in Maryland. Ethier had been assigned to the St. John Vianney parish in Claverack.


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