November 28, 2005

Priest sentenced to eight months in jail on child porn conviction


November 28, 2005

BARNSTABLE, Mass. --A Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to storing hundreds of images of child pornography on his computer and coercing a 16-year-old boy into filming himself performing a sex act was sentenced Monday to eight months in jail.

Prosecutors had recommended a three-year prison sentence for the Rev. Stephen A. Fernandes, 55, who was suspended as pastor of Our Lady Fatima Church in New Bedford.

Bristol District Attorney Paul Walsh criticized Superior Court Judge Robert Kane for handing Fernandes a lighter sentence. He will serve the eight-month sentence at a jail on Martha's Vineyard and is eligible for parole in three months.

"The court may see this as a victimless crime, but I don't," Walsh said in a written statement. "When I look at the terrible pictures of more than 500 kids, I see 500 victims."

Posted by kshaw at November 28, 2005 05:34 PM