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Connecticut priest arrested on child pornography charges

Alaine Griffin / The Hartford Courant

The Rev. Dennis Carey, left, speaks Tuesday after his arraignment at the Superior Court in New London, Conn. At right is his lawyer, Ron Stevens.

A Connecticut priest arraigned Tuesday on child pornography possession charges says he is getting help for his addiction to the illegal material.

The Rev. Dennis Carey, 65, was released on $100,000 bond, NBCConnecticut.com reported. He was ordered to have no computer or Internet access, no pornography and no contact with anyone under age 13.

Carey resigned Friday as pastor of St. Paul in Chains Church in Waterford after the Catholic diocese in Norwich learned police were investigating him.

His lawyer, Ron Stevens, said Carey was viewing pornography on the Internet and did not have inappropriate contact with children. Carey was scheduled to meet with his psychiatrist Tuesday afternoon, Stevens said, adding that his client has no prior record.

Stevens told The Day newspaper in New London that Carey was staying in “another church location,” but did not elaborate.

On May 29, the Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce in Los Angeles contacted the Connecticut State Police computer crimes task force for help with an investigation into suspected child pornography sent using an AOL email account.

On Thursday, state troopers and the Waterford Police Department executed a search warrant at the St. Paul Parish Rectory, seized items and applied for an arrest warrant for Carey.

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Carey turned himself in to state police in Montville on Tuesday morning, Stevens told The Day.

State police say Carey had at least 338 files of suspected child pornography on two laptops, two tower computers and two external drives that state police seized from the church rectory, The Day reported.

The 275 picture files and 63 video files contain images of boys and girls under 16 engaged in sexually explicit acts, according to state police.

Carey was ordained a priest in 1998 after a 25-year career as a certified public accountant in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, according to the diocese.

Bishop Michael R. Cote said he and Carey became aware of the investigation on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Cote issued a statement obtained by The Day:

“We, along with everyone else, will wait to see how the legal process unfolds and to learn the details of the investigation. These allegations are extremely serious and run contrary to everything we believe as a Church. To exploit children in that fashion is absolutely reprehensible. We pray the allegations are not true.

“This is a sad moment for all of us. We always hope we will never again hear about any investigations or allegations of misconduct by priests. For the parish community, for the priests of the diocese, and for me personally, it is extremely difficult. We are all saddened and deeply hurt.”

Photo courtesy of The Hartford Courant

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