Southie Priest Held on Porn Charge
By Laurel J. Sweet and Richard Weir
August 2, 2012
|Andrzej J. Urbaniak, left, listens to his lawyer Jeffrey Denner yesterday during his arraignment.
A Polish priest accused of trading in pornographic pictures of prepubescent girls was arrested at his South Boston church Tuesday.
Rev. Andrzej “Andrew” Urbaniak, 41, a native of Knurow, Poland, pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of child pornography and dissemination of images of a nude child. Police reports filed with the court stated he had “child pornography/child sexual abuse images” on his computer.
Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Kate Clayman said Urbaniak volunteered to investigators, who’d been monitoring him online since June 13 based on a referral from the State Police Crimes Against Children Unit, that he did kiddie porn searches using keywords like “7 yo (years old).” State police told Boston detectives they’d found searches for “pre-teen,” “pedofilia” and “lolitas.”
The Archdiocese of Boston announced yesterday Urbaniak is on administrative leave. He came to this country 12 years ago and has been pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa on Dorchester Avenue for four years. He was assigned by his religious order in Poland to help Boston’s Polish-Catholic community.
A crestfallen Beata Kozak, 56, a fourth-grade catechism instructor and Sunday lector at Our Lady of Czestochowa, said the disturbing charges left her speechless. “I’m crying. I’m very close to Father. It can’t be true. Maybe there’s some mistake,” she said.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Denner said Urbaniak “is a very decent man charged with very indecent activities. He has a long history of doing good, a long history of keeping his word.” A disheveled-looking Urbaniak was ordered held by South Boston District Court Judge Michael C. Bolden on $10,000 cash bail. If released, he must wear a GPS bracelet. Bolden banned him from using the Internet.