|Former Priest Sentenced for Child Porn Possession
By Luis Perez
May 2, 2008
A former Roman Catholic priest from Roosevelt was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in federal prison Friday for keeping 600 sexual images of young boys on his rectory computer, officials said.
Thomas G. Saloy, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph F. Bianco in Central Islip on a charge of possession of child pornography. As part of his plea deal, Saloy admitted to possessing less than half of the lewd images prosecutors initially found in his possession.
Saloy pleaded guilty after his arrest in a child pornography sting by federal investigators and Suffolk police in November 2006. At the time, prosecutors said they found 1,300 images in Saloy's computer in the rectory of Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Roosevelt, where he was the administrator.
Just hours after the announcement of Saloy's sentencing, a national support group for victims of sexual abuse by priests released a statement saying church officials would be "reckless and irresponsible" if they did not immediately reach out to others who may have been victims.
"Now that Saloy has admitted his guilt, it's up to Catholic officials to prod others with information about his crimes to come forward and call the police," David Clohessy, national director of Missouri-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "There may well be individuals who are suffering because of Saloy who need and deserve compassionate outreach by church personnel."
Clohessy said of Saloy's sentence: "Sadly, it's typical that many criminal priests get light sentences."
In a statement, Diocese of Rockville Centre spokesman Sean Dolan said "it's a tragic situation for all involved."
Dolan noted that after Saloy's arrest, the diocese placed notices in its newsletter and an auxiliary bishop addressed the incident in Masses.
"If anybody has any information about abuse, we would encourage them to come forward and talk to law enforcement," Dolan said.
During the investigation, a Suffolk police officer posing as a 16-year-old boy in an America Online chat room received sexually explicit images and messages from Saloy, according to prosecutors. Aided by Suffolk police, FBI agents then seized Saloy's computer.
Saloy's attorney, Peter Rubin of Rockville Centre, did not return a call for comment Friday. Rubin has said the priest tried to kill himself after his arrest.
Ordained in 1998, Saloy has been associate pastor at Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church in West Babylon, St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in East Islip and the Parish of St. Raphael in East Meadow.
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