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Pennsylvania priest gets 8 years behind bars for child porn

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) - A Roman Catholic priest in Pennsylvania who pleaded guilty last year to federal child pornography charges was sentenced on Wednesday to eight years in prison.

Bartley Sorensen, a 63-year-old former pastor of St. John Fisher Church outside Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty in May to receiving and possessing thousands of sexually explicit images of exploited children.

Sorensen was arrested in December 2011 after a parish employee who had undergone training to identify sexual predators saw him viewing child pornography on his computer and alerted authorities.

Investigators searched Sorensen's church office, where they found 5,000 images on three CDs as well as additional photos and videos.

The images included young boys either posing naked or engaged in sexual activity with other prepubescent males or adult males, according to affidavits.

U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch sentenced Sorensen to serve 97 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. He also ordered the suspended priest to pay a $25,000 fine.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Lisa Shumaker)

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