Priest Abuse Victim Paul Hearty Faces Child Porn Charges

Democrat and Chronicle
August 10, 2012|head&nclick_check=1

Paul Hearty

A Rochester man who was molested by a local priest two decades ago is now facing child pornography charges.

Federal authorities allege that Paul Hearty, 36, had on his telephone images of infant boys and girls being molested. When 16 years old, Hearty was molested by the Rev. William Lum, a local priest who later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual abuse.

Hearty appeared Friday in U.S. District Court in Rochester. His bail hearing is set for Aug. 27.

Both Hearty’s family and his attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Mark Hosken, declined comment this week.

Hearty was convicted in 2005 of possessing child pornography and was required then to register as a sex offender.

Hearty unsuccessfully sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, alleging that the diocese had sheltered priests who preyed on youngsters. The diocese in 2002 agreed to pay for five years of counseling for Hearty.

In the summer months of 1992, Lum molested Hearty in the rectory of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Greece. In court papers, Hearty alleged that he was forced into sex by Lum. He said he begged Lum to stop and that Lum answered “he knew I was enjoying this.”

After his recent arrest, federal prosecutors appeared ready to agree that Hearty could remain free pending trial on certain conditions, including electronic monitoring.

However, this week prosecutors indicated that they may now oppose his pretrial release based on new information they’ve received. That information has not been revealed in court or in court papers but will likely be a focus of the Aug. 27 bail hearing.

Local counselor Carl Christensen, who works with sexual predators and their victims, said “there are tons of people that access pornography and tons of people that access child pornography.”

While those who watch child pornography may have had instances of abuse in their past, the abuse is not “a determining factor” in their predilection, Christensen said.









Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.