NEWS

Raymond Lahey: Bishop Apologizes For Child Pornography Possession

12/20/2011 12:00 EST | Updated 02/19/2012 05:12 EST
CP
OTTAWA - A disgraced Roman Catholic bishop who got busted with hundreds of pornographic photos of young boys says he's sorry.

Speaking in public for the first time since he got caught at the Ottawa airport, Raymond Lahey offered an apology to the church and to victims of child pornography.

"I am truly sorry for what I have done," Lahey told the court on Tuesday, the second day of his sentencing hearing.

The 71-year-old cleric, looking gaunt and frail, said his addiction to Internet porn went against his moral principles.

"I know that I've done wrong."

The court heard Lahey's collection included pornographic photos featuring Catholic imagery, including young boys wearing crucifixes and rosary beads engaged in sex acts, and a man dressed as a monk hitting a young boy's bare buttocks with a paddle.

There were also graphic images of bondage and torture.

"They are graphic in the extreme," Crown attorney David Elhadad said of Lahey's collection of child porn.

Lahey sat with his arms crossed as the judge and the lawyers looked at photos from his collection.

Later, he offered some insight into his actions.

"Deep down, I desired to be found out," Lahey told the court.

"Being discovered coming through customs was a blessing in disguise."

He will be sentenced Jan. 4 on one count of importing child pornography.

He voluntarily went to jail last spring to begin serving time even before his formal sentencing.

A second charge of simple possession remains against Lahey, but it is expected to be withdrawn as part of the plea deal when he is formally sentenced.

Lahey was arrested at the Ottawa airport in September 2009 after customs authorities found hundreds of pornographic photos of young boys on his laptop and a handheld device.

A psychiatrist has told the court that testing suggests the bishop is not a pedophile.