Boston priest arrested on child pornography charges

BOSTON Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:56pm EDT

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BOSTON (Reuters) - A South Boston priest has been arrested and is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, charged with possession and dissemination of child pornography that involved using a computer in his parish's rectory.

Andrew J. Urbaniak, a 39-year-old priest at Our Lady of Czestochowa, a Polish church in the Archdiocese of Boston, was arrested and charged on Tuesday afternoon.

After obtaining a search warrant, detectives seized Urbaniak's computer, where pornographic images of girls between the ages of 8 and 10 were found, the Boston Police Department said in a statement.

Detectives had been investigating Urbaniak over the Internet for two months.

The Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement that Urbaniak has been placed on administrative leave.

Urbaniak's provincial superior at his religious order in Poland has been informed and he is not allowed to function as a priest in the Archdiocese.

"The Archdiocese is fully cooperating with law enforcement. The Church prays for all those impacted by these events and is committed to providing for the pastoral care of the parish during this difficult time," the statement said.

Urbaniak had been at Our Lady of Czestochowa since September 2008 and was ordained in Poland in 1998, said Kellyanne Dignan, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese.

The church, which offers mass in English and Polish, still lists Urbaniak on its website as one of its Franciscan friars.

Police said they are continuing the investigation, but no victims have come forward and Urbaniak is not charged with enticement of a child.

Urbaniak is being held on $25,000 cash bail.

(Reporting by Joseph O'Leary; editing by Ros Krasny and Richard Chang)

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