Sentencing arguments in Raymond Lahey case set for June 24

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Bishop Raymond Lahey. — The Canadian Press file photo

Ottawa —

Disgraced Roman Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey is to have a sentencing hearing for his child-pornography conviction on June 24.

The date — for submissions on how long a sentence he should serve, not likely for a sentence to be imposed — was set by Crown and defence lawyers and a judge in Ottawa court Thursday morning.

Lahey, who practiced in Newfoundland but who was then the bishop of Antigonish in Nova Scotia, was caught with child pornography on his laptop computer when he was passing through the Ottawa airport in summer 2009 after a trip abroad.

He pleaded guilty on May 4 to possessing child pornography for the purpose of importation and voluntarily went to jail then, since the crime carries a mandatory jail sentence and he chose to start serving that time immediately. He retains his rank in the Catholic Church until a canonical disciplinary process concludes.

Lahey, a native of St. John’s, had been a central figure in settling a lawsuit against his diocese over the sexual abuse of children by priests in Nova Scotia. The diocese agreed to pay $15 million.

The material he was caught with in Ottawa, about five weeks later, included photographs and stories featuring the humiliation and degradation of young boys.

Ottawa Citizen

Organizations: Catholic Church

Geographic location: Ottawa, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland Antigonish

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