Priest Gets Nearly 7 Years in Prison on Child Porn Charges

By Brad Choat
June 24, 2010

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- A priest at St. Raphael's Parish in St. Louis is headed to prison on a child pornography possession charge.

Prosecutors today announced that 58-year-old James Patrick Grady has been sentenced to 80 months (6.7 years) in prison. He must also pay a 12-thousand-500 dollar fine and be on supervised release for life.

Grady pleaded guilty to the charge in March.

Prosecutors say an undercover officer arrested Grady in July of last year, after Grady set up a meeting with what he thought was a 16-year-old girl willing to have sex with him.

A later search of the priest's personal laptop found more than 100 sexually-explicit images of girls between the ages of seven and seventeen.

Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), David Clohessy says, "Their grateful that the justice system will monitor James Grady for life. Jailed predators is the most effective way to protect kids. Closely supervising child sex offenders is the second best. "

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson issued this statement:

"Today, the Archdiocese of St. Louis learned that Father James Grady was sentenced to 80 months in prison after pleading guilty to a charge involving child pornography in March. Child pornography is a serious crime against the young victims who are exploited in its production. I am deeply apologetic that one of our priests was involved in viewing this material and thus contributed to the great harm caused by this form of child abuse. I will begin the process of his removal from the clerical state. The Archdiocese has not provided assistance to Fr. Grady's legal defense in this matter since the time he pleaded guilty.

James Patrick Grady

We continue to work with our clergy, teachers, staff, coaches and volunteers to ensure the safety of the children in our care. Since 2002, more than 75,000 adults who are either employed by or volunteer in our parishes and institutions have gone through our Safe Environment Program, which requires a state background check, attendance at a Protecting God's Children workshop and compliance with the Archdiocese of St. Louis Code of Ethical Conduct for Clergy, Employees and Volunteers Working with Minors. The program is designed not only to prevent abuse, but to help recognize abuse when it may be already occurring in a child's life.

We, as Catholics, believe in the sanctity of all human life from the moment of its inception to the moment of natural death. As Archbishop, I am, therefore, committed totally to protecting God's children, and offer my deepest apologies to those who have been abused by clergy."

Statement from the United States Attorney's Office:

St. Louis, MO: The United States Attorney's Office announced today that James Patrick Grady was sentenced to 80 months in prison, followed by supervised release for life. In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to pay a $12,500 fine.

According to court documents, James Patrick Grady was employed as the pastor at St. Raphael's Parish in St. Louis. Grady was provided with a computer by the Arch Diocese, but requested that parish members obtain a laptop computer for his personal usage. The parish purchased him a Toshiba laptop computer.

On July 29, 2009, law enforcement officers and agents were involved in an undercover operation investigating subjects who attempt to purchase children, or their services, for commercial sex in the Eastern District of Missouri. The same day, officers received an email in response to an internet advertisement that had been placed by law enforcement working in the undercover capacity.

The advertisement indicated that young females of an indeterminate age were available. The email was from James Patrick Grady, seeking more information regarding the ad, and was informed that there were two females. In the course of the emails, Grady received a digitally morphed photograph of a 16-year old female. Grady inquired about the cost of the child depicted and was given a price for a half hour and for one hour. Grady indicated that he wanted a half hour and was told that the girl was 16 years old.

He indicated that was fine and set up a meeting. Upon arriving at the agreed upon location, Grady met an undercover officer, and asked to see the girls. Grady was subsequently arrested by the FBI, St. Louis County Police and the Maryland Heights Police. After his arrest, Grady admitted that he intended to have sex with the girl.

Grady was asked if he had any child pornography on his computer, and he stated that while he never downloaded child pornography, he had looked at it on his computer. The computer was searched by forensic examiners and they found more than 100 images which depicted nude prepubescent females in the seven to seventeen-year old age range engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Grady, 58, St. Louis, pleaded guilty in March to one felony count of possession of child pornography and appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Jean C. Hamilton.

Additionally, Grady is charged with a forfeiture count, which, will require the forfeiture of property that was used to facilitate the criminal activity. As part of his plea, Grady agrees to forfeit his Toyota Camry.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Maryland Heights and St. Louis County Police Departments. Assistant United States Attorney Howard J. Marcus handled the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.



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