Priest Charged with Having Child Pornography

By Wendy McNew
October 19, 2009,0,3131350.story

A Roman Catholic priest in the Poconos has turned himself in to police on child pornography charges.

Father Robert Timchak is charged with having child pornography and tampering with evidence after police said they found child pornography on the priest's computer.

Father Timchak had no comment to reporters Monday as he left district court outside of Milford after turning himself in to state police.

Investigators said they started investigating the Pike County priest in December 2008 when the Diocese of Scranton turned over an anonymous letter they received claiming Father Timchak had child pornography on his computer.

"From there, interviews were conducted with Father and we were able to do a search of his computer where the images were found," said Trooper Bill Satkowski.

According to the diocesan website, Timchak has served as pastor at several Catholic churches in the area, including Transfiguration parish in West Hazleton, S.S. Peter and Paul in Hazleton, and most recently, Saint John Neumann in Lord's Valley.

Father Timchak's attorney said his client is currently staying at a counseling facility in Downingtown.

"It's a counseling facility for incidents such as this," said attorney John Petorak.

In addition to the child pornography charges, Timchak is also facing a count of tampering with evidence.

Police said there is no indication the priest ever came into physical contact with any minors.

Calls to the Diocese of Scranton for comment were not immediately returned.

A judge has released Father Robert Timchak on his own recognizance.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for the Pike County priest in early November.


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