Northeast Nebraska Priest Gets Probation in Pornography Case

Associated Press
December 21, 2004

A Roman Catholic priest who formerly served northeast Nebraska has received a year's probation - and been ordered to apologize to one of his former parishes - after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor pornography count.

The Rev. Jay Kruse, formerly of Verdigre, pleaded guilty in Knox County District Court to one count of attempted possession of visual depiction of sexually explicit content.

Kruse has been on administrative leave since Aug. 2, when the archdiocese was told by the Nebraska State Patrol of its investigation of Kruse involving computer equipment at St. Wenceslaus Parish in Verdigre.

Kruse originally was charged with two felony counts of possession of visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct. Court records indicate the charges involve images of adolescents.

Kruse served the St. Wenceslaus parish and St. William's parish in Niobrara from June 2002 to June 2004.

As part of his plea agreement, he was ordered to pay court costs and issue an apology to St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church members.

The written apology must be approved by Kruse's probation officer, and the parish will be allowed to publish the apology, if it so choses.

District Judge Patrick Rogers also ordered Kruse to continue counseling and therapy sessions and to give up all unsupervised Internet access.

Kruse must have no unsupervised contact, either socially or professionally, with any children under 18, unless permission is granted by his probation officer. He also must perform 80 hours of community service work in northeast Nebraska.

If he fails to comply with his probation requirements, Kruse could serve 60 days in the Knox County Jail.


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