Ex-grand Prairie Priest Sentenced for Child Pornography

By Domingo Ramirez Jr.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
December 1, 2009

DALLAS -- A former Grand Prairie priest was sentenced Tuesday to more than four years in prison for possession of child pornography which he viewed on the Internet on a church computer.

Matthew Bagert, 40, was sentenced to 51 months without parole by U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay. He must register as a sex offender. Bagert entered a plea of guilty in April to one count of possession of child pornography. He faced a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Bagert, of Richardson, must surrender to federal prison officials on Jan. 19.

Bagert was ordained in 1997 and has been pastor of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church since 2001.

Grand Prairie police began an investigation of Bagert in February 2005 after an associate priest saw him viewing an image of a young, nude boy on a computer at the church, and reported it to the Dallas Catholic Diocese. The diocese informed Grand Prairie police of the images and indefinitely suspended Bagert.

Bagert, 36 at the time, admitted that he was responsible for finding the child pornography on the church computer and he had used the Internet to find the images, according to federal court documents.

Bagert has left the priesthood and married.

He recently worked as a traveling installer for hotel energy management systems.

(This report includes material from The Associated Press.)

DOMINGO RAMIREZ, 817-390-7763 or


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