Lahey’s sentencing hearing set for June 24

  • May 30, 2011

Bishop Raymond Lahey’s sentencing hearing will take place June 24, he pleaded guilty to importing child pornography May 4.OTTAWA - Bishop Raymond Lahey’s sentencing hearing will take place June 24, when the judge gets to hear testimony from a forensic psychiatrist.

Lahey, 70, pleaded guilty to importing child pornography May 4 and opted to go directly to jail rather than stay out on bail until a date could be arranged for Dr. James Bradford to testify about his psychological evaluation. A charge of distribution of child pornography was dropped.

The bishop faces a minimum one-year jail term, but he could receive a sentence as high as 10 years.

Lahey also faces canonical penalties now that the court has reached a verdict. These could include “defrocking” or dismissal from the clerical state.

The former bishop of Antigonish was charged after a Canadian Border Services agent flagged him for an inspection upon his return to Canada aboard an overseas flight in September 2009.

Lahey resigned his See shortly before he was formally charged in early October 2009. He had only a few weeks previously negotiated a $15-million settlement with abuse victims in his diocese, one that was hailed as especially sensitive because it would not force them to testify in court.

Investigators found 588 images and 60 videos depicting sexual acts involving minor boys on the bishop’s laptop and other electronic devices. They also found stories, one as long as 300 pages, on themes of humiliation, degradation, slavery and torture of young boys.

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