February 16, 2005

Priest accused of having child porn


From Staff And Wire Reports Feb 16, 2005

LEESBURG -- A 72-year-old Roman Catholic priest who served in dioceses in Richmond and Arlington County was indicted by a Loudoun County grand jury yesterday on a single felony count of possession of child pornography.

The Rev. Robert Brooks of Leesburg resigned as pastor of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church and was removed from the ministry last fall, when officials told his superiors he was under investigation on child-pornography charges.

Police said the investigation started in 2003 when undercover federal officials who monitor child-pornography sites on the Internet alleged that Brooks had registered on such a site. The investigation uncovered no evidence of inappropriate contact with children, police said.

Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which initiated the investigation against Brooks, said it stems from a worldwide undercover operation against child pornography on the Web called "Operation Falcon."

The investigation broke wide open when agents obtained the billing statements for more than 50 child-pornography Web sites from a company in the former Soviet republic of Belarus that had operated child-pornography sites and provided billing services for others.

Posted by kshaw at February 16, 2005 04:13 AM