Pastor at St. John Fisher Faces New Charges

By Sadie Gurman
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
December 13, 2011

A Churchill pastor already charged with possessing child pornography remains jailed today on three new counts of the same felony offense.

Detectives first arrested the Rev. Bartley A. Sorensen, 62, on Saturday after they said he admitted to using his computer in the church rectory to view at least 100 images of boys. Police said they studied the computer's hard drive and found several still-image files depicting prepubescent males either posed naked or engaged in sexual activity with other boys or with men.

They also seized two spindles of CDs in the office. The new charges came after three of the CDs, examined by police on Monday, revealed more than 5,000 images of child pornography, according to a criminal complaint. A Monday search of the rectory also yielded at least two "commercially produced child pornographic movies" and 100 recordable disks containing several thousand images of young boys. Detectives said they also discovered books and printed photos containing child pornography, the complaint says.

Father Sorensen was being held in the Allegheny County Jail on $100,000 bond, court records show.

The investigation began Friday when a church employee said she witnessed the pastor viewing the images on his computer and contacted the Catholic Child Abuse Hotline. The Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, has said that when diocesan officials learned of her report, they immediately contacted police and removed Father Sorensen from active ministry. He has been placed him on administrative leave.

Sadie Gurman: or 412-263-1878.


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