March 18, 2005

Priest faces child porn charges

Scranton Times

Chris Birk 03/18/2005

A Diocese of Scranton priest was charged Thursday with downloading and viewing images of child pornography while staying at St. Ann's Church rectory in Tobyhanna.

The Rev. Virgil Bradley Tetherow, also known as Father Gabriel, 1219 Jackson St., Scranton, was arraigned Thursday morning before Magisterial District Judge Clancy Dennis on 10 counts each of sexual abuse of children and criminal use of a communication facility, both third-degree felonies.

The arrest came exactly two months after Pocono Mountain Regional Police began investigating child porn allegations surrounding the Tobyhanna church rectory. A man brought in to clean up the hard drives of the rectory computers discovered images of young men engaged in sexual acts on a computer used by the church secretary, the parish priest, the Rev. Michael Kloton, told detectives.

Father Kloton agreed to a voluntary search, and detectives removed the computer a day later.

Police initially discovered more than 10 images of children between the ages of 10 to 14 engaged in sexual acts or simulated sex acts on the secretary's computer. Days later, on Jan. 20, the parish priest turned over another computer suspected of containing illegal images, this one kept in the room used by Father Tetherow.

Posted by kshaw at March 18, 2005 07:56 AM