May 26, 2005

Volino lists more than 3 images; prosecutors say it was 600-plus

Democrat & Chronicle

Gary Craig
Staff writer

(May 26, 2005) A Catholic priest whom the Diocese of Rochester once restricted from contact with children pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to possession of child pornography.

The Rev. Michael Volino, 41, admitted that last year he had child pornography on a diocesan computer. In his guilty plea to a single felony count, Volino admitted only to possessing more than three pornographic images, but federal prosecutors contend that he had more than 600.

The difference could be crucial to Volino's sentence, because sentences can be increased if there are more than 600 images.

In 2002, diocese officials asked Volino to attend a Maryland-based psychiatric center for priests because of concerns about his "maturity and development," Bishop Matthew Clark said in an earlier interview. Counselors recommended that the diocese ensure that Volino was not alone with children, a restriction the diocese maintained it followed. (Clark said the diocese did err by allowing Volino to teach at St. John the Evangelist Church in Greece; the center recommended that he be prohibited from work in schools.)

Posted by kshaw at May 26, 2005 07:59 AM