Priest Held in Kid-Porn Case

By Mohamad Bazzi
June 13, 1996

A priest on leave from the Brooklyn Diocese has been charged in connection with taking nude photos of a 15-year-old boy, authorities said yesterday.

The Rev. Thomas Morrow, 51, of 110-46 65th Ave., was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his Rego Park home, said Officer Valerie St. Rose, a police spokeswoman.

Morrow, a licensed psychologist who has been counseling the teenager, allegedly called him June 6 and asked him to come by his house to do some work, according to a complaint filed yesterday in State Criminal Court by the Queens District Attorney's office.

The teenager was taking a shower when Morrow took pictures of him, the complaint said.

Tuesday, the teen called Morrow, who promised to give him the photographs and negatives. The conversation was recorded by police, according to the complaint.

The district attorney's office is investigating; no further details are known.

Morrow has been charged with third-degree obscenity, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a controlled substance, said Mary DeBourbon, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office. He was awaiting arraignment last night.

According to the complaint, investigators found more than 150 obscene photographs at Morrow's house, including pictures of nude children, actual or simulated sodomy, sadism and masochism.

Investigators said they also found a packet of cocaine and two crack pipes.

Morrow has not been active in the Brooklyn Diocese since he requested a leave of absence in 1987, according to spokesman Frank DeRosa.

Morrow was ordained in 1971, and he served for two years as a parish priest at Our Lady of Refuge in Flatbush, Brooklyn, DeRosa said.

Morrow has been a licensed psychologist in New York State since August, 1985, according to the state Department of Education. He was slapped with a one-year suspension last June, said Rita St. John, an administrator at the department's Professional Licensing Division. But the suspension order was stayed, and Morrow was instead fined $250 and placed on probation for a year.

St. John said she could not immediately disclose the reasons for the disciplinary action. She said his license is still valid, and computer records show that he has a private practice in Forest Hills at 99-27 66th Ave.


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