Priest Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges
By Emma Ockerman
Detroit Free Press
July 24, 2013
Timothy Murray, a non-practicing Catholic priest with the Archdiocese of Detroit, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Detroit to one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Murray, 62, of Novi, was removed from public ministry in 2004 after he was accused of touching a 13-year-old boy’s genitalia. Then, he was not charged due to the length of time passed since the alleged abuse and the report of the allegation.
After a federal investigation conducted on Murray last year on suspicion of possession of child pornography, he was found to be trading child pornography with others, including an undercover Homeland Security special agent. That prompted a search warrant to be executed in Murray’s home.
The warrant uncovered at least seven different computer devices containing child pornography, with a collection that included 650 movies and over 450 images, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade’s office said in a press release. According to court documents, Murray told investigators that he viewed pornography weekly, and preferred 13-year-old males.
“With his guilty plea, this defendant acknowledges his continued criminal sexual interest in children. The hands-on sexual abuse that led to his removal from public ministry by the Catholic church had long-lasting effects on the defendant’s prior victim,”MqQuade said in a press release Wednesday. “Similarly, the victims depicted in his extensive collection of child pornography suffered greatly not only at the hands of their abusers, but by those, like the defendant, who collect and continue to view the permanent depictions of their abuse.”
Murray, the former priest at St. Edith parish in Livonia, will be sentenced on Dec. 4, and will face 20-30 years in prison.