Former Catholic Priest Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges
By Dave Phillips
Advisor & Source Newspapers
July 25, 2013
A 62-year-old former priest from Novi has pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography and possession of child pornography, federal officials announced Wednesday.
Timothy Murray “used peer-to-peer software to trade child pornography with others,” including an undercover Department of Homeland Security agent, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.
Agents recovered at least seven devices from Murray’s home. Those devices contained more than 650 movies and 450 images of child pornography, the release states.
“Murray had previously served as a Catholic priest within the Archdiocese of Detroit before being removed from public ministry when substantiated allegations of Murray’s prior sexual abuse of a young boy came to light,” the release states.
Murray, who served as a priest at St. Edith parish in Livonia, will be sentenced at 2 p.m. Dec. 4 and faces 22 to 27 years in federal prison.
“With his guilty plea, this defendant acknowledges his continued criminal sexual interest in children,” McQuade stated in the release.
“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. 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.”
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests also released a statement.
“For the safety of kids, we hope (Murray is) jailed for a long time,” the release states.
“We also hope that Detroit Catholic officials will use their vast resources to reach out to anyone else who may have been hurt by Fr. Timothy Murray. It’s not enough for the archbishop to passively sit back doing nothing while the burden of keeping this criminal away from kids falls on victims, police and prosecutors.”
The organization also called on Allen Henry Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, to use his power to help victims and to gather evidence.
“He should use (his power) to seek out and help every single person who was assaulted or exploited by Fr. Murray,” the release states.
“He should use it to gather every bit of evidence law enforcement officials need to keep Fr. Murray behind bars for years. And he should use it to lobby Michigan lawmakers to reform the state’s archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations that prevents most child molesters from ever being prosecuted.”
Contact staff writer Dave Phillips at 248-745-4631 or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @dave_phillips1.