January 22, 2005

Yakima priest won't face child-porn charges



Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Ron Zirkle has decided against filing criminal charges against a Yakima Catholic priest who was being investigated in connection with possessing child pornography.

The case "did not meet federal or state statutes for children in sexually explicit conduct," Zirkle said in a Friday telephone interview.

The priest, who has not been publicly identified, is currently not working in the Catholic Diocese of Yakima and is said to be on sabbatical, according to several sources who declined to be identified.

Zirkle said the investigation dates to fall 2003, when Russell Mazzola, chairman of the Diocesan Lay Advisory Board, reported an incident of suspected possession of pornography to the Yakima police.

In the past, Zirkle has mentioned that photographs of nude boys were found on a computer to which the priest had access.

Posted by kshaw at January 22, 2005 07:46 AM