Ex-catholic High School Educator Admits to Viewing Child Porn in School Library

The Gothamist
November 28, 2011

A former assistant principal at an all-boy Bronx Catholic high school has admitted to viewing child pornography on the school's library computer. Brother Lawrence Gordon, 65, had accidentally left a USB stick filled with child porn in the library computer last Valentine's Day, which was discovered by another teacher. Gordon has agreed to a plea deal to avoid jail time, and will instead spend 12 to 18 months at a Maryland in-patient treatment facility and halfway house.

Gordon, who now must register as a sex offender, was fired from his job at Mount St. Michael Academy last week. The school notified parents in a letter last Friday about the firing, insisting there was no sexual contact between the school administrator and the students: "Brother Lawrence Gordon, former assistant principal at Mount St. Michael academy, has been on leave since early this year. He will not be returning to Mt. St. Michael because the administration discovered inappropriate images on his flash drive. We reported the matter to the Bronx County District Attorney's office," the letter said.

But the Post alleges that the school refuses to answer whether Gordon has ever been previously accused of sexual misconduct with a child—and also put off telling authorities about the evidence.

Mount St. Michael Academy waited until March, weeks after the discovery of the USB drive on February 14, to notify the DA's office of the child porn, according to a DA spokesman. The school says this delay was caused by a "serious medical issue" which led to Gordon being admitted to the hospital. Not everyone is satisfied by that response:

"What happened to all those promises by Catholic officials to be open and transparent about sex cases?" asked David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, to the Post. "It shows within Catholic institutions, there's been virtually no change, despite decades of crimes and cover-ups and prosecution and promises of reform. Common sense suggests here that church and school officials leaned hard on the criminal to quickly and quietly plea instead of acting responsibly, being honest, begging others for information to come forward."

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