|St. Peter's Prep, SPC Say Child-Porn Priest Did No Wrong at Schools
By Paul Koepp
October 28, 2008
Officials at St. Peter's College and St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City say there's no indication that a priest who recently confessed to possessing child pornography did anything wrong in connection with his work at those schools.
The Rev. James Kuntz, 59, pleaded guilty Sept. 30 in federal court to possession of child pornography. A raid of his home on Feb. 27 uncovered 63 explicit images on a computer, according to his plea agreement.
He faces up to 10 years in prison and fines of $250,000 when he is sentenced Jan. 12 by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Greenaway Jr.
According to St. Peter's College spokeswoman Lorraine McConnell, Kuntz was hired by the college in August 2004 and served as vice president for mission and ministry. He resigned the same day his home was raided, McConnell said.
"The school was very surprised," she said.
And in an Oct. 16 letter to St. Peter's Prep alumni, the Rev. Robert E. Reiser, president of the school where Kuntz served as principal from 1984 until 1988, stated: "There is no indication, nor has there been any allegation, of similar behavior on his part during his years at St. Peter's Prep."
Reiser asked the alumni to "pray for Father Jim Kuntz as he prepares to face the consequences of his actions."
Kuntz could not be reached for comment and his Newark attorney, Robert DeGroot, did not return a phone call today.
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