Former Priest on Sex Offender Registry

By Bob Gardinier
Albany Times Union
October 3, 2012

HUDSON A former Claverack Catholic priest who spent nearly four years in federal prison on child pornography charges was given Level 1 sex offender status in Columbia County Court.

Raymond Ethier, 55, who was released from federal custody in January, appeared in court last week. Assistant District Attorney James A. Carlucci asked Judge Richard M. Koweek to assign Ethier the most severe, Level 3, status, according to the district attorney's office.

Ethier's lawyer, Daniel Stewart, asked for Level 1, stating that his client was a "low risk to re-offend" and noting that he was also sentenced to 10 years post-release federal supervision.

A Level 1 offender is required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 20 years, while Level 2 and 3 offenders, considered more likely to re-offend, must register for life.

When he pleaded guilty in November 2007, Ethier admitted he had videos and still images of minor boys engaged in sexual conduct on his home computer that he had downloaded from the Internet, authorities said.

At the time of his arrest Ethier was pastor of St. John Vianney in Philmont. He had also served at Our Lady of Victory Church in Troy. After being placed on leave, Ethier volunteered to attend a residential treatment program in Maryland.

Ethier was sentenced to four years in prison in June 2008.

The investigation began when Canadian authorities began tracking Ethier from online screen names. State Police in Livingston, along with agents with the federal Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. investigated the case.



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