Pittsburgh Priest Pleads Not Guilty To Porn Charges

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None - A Catholic priest entered a not-guilty plea on Friday and will go to trial after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he possessed thousands of images of child pornography that county detectives said they found when searching his office and residence last month.

Rev. Bartley Sorensen, 62, will be on home detention with electronic monitoring. He will not be allowed to use a computer or any cellphone with an Internet connection.

The priest of 35 years has been suspended by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, which is cooperating in the investigation.

Allegheny County detectives arrested Sorensen on Dec. 10, after a parish employee called a church child abuse hotline after allegedly seeing Sorensen viewing child pornography on his computer the previous day.

An arrest affidavit at the time said the female employee saw the image of a boy who appeared to be 5 to 10 years old, and naked from the waist down, under the caption "Hottie Boys," on the priest's computer in his residence. The employee told investigators that Sorensen, who has been transferred to St. John Fisher Church in Churchill just three weeks earlier, spent "hours upon hours" on his computer, alone in his office, according to the affidavit.

County investigators filed additional charges against Sorensen on Dec. 13, the day after a second search of his church office turned up additional images and videos. Investigators said they found 5,000 pictures on three CDs taken from his church office during the initial search.

The indictment contends Sorensen received or possessed the images since June. The charge of receiving child pornography on his computer carries a prison sentence of five to 20 years upon conviction, while the possession charge has no minimum and carries a maximum 10-year term.

Previous Stories: December 20, 2011: Attorney: Priest's Child Porn Case 'Simply A Possession Crime' December 19, 2011: Zubik Confronts Rumors Over Knowledge Of Priest's Alleged Conduct

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