Fairbanks priest sentenced to 10 years for child sex crimes
A Fairbanks priest was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was caught using a work computer to receive images of child pornography, authorities say.
Clint Michael Landry — who was employed as a priest with the Catholic Diocese in Fairbanks since 2011 — will be under a lifetime period of supervised release after serving his prison sentence, according to a statement from the Alaska District Attorney’s office.
Landry was caught using a work computer to receive child porn through his Yahoo email account in May 2014.
“A search of the computer found multiple sexually-explicit Instant Messages (IM) between the defendant and others believed to be located in the Philippines,” the statement says. “In many of these IMs, the defendant is negotiating with a Filipino coconspirator about viewing sexually explicit conduct involving minors through webcams and Skype communications.”
The talks with people in the Philippines took place from June 2013 to May 2014. Investigators found Landry communicated with at least eight different Yahoo accounts to see videos of minors engaged in “sexually explicit conduct,” the DA’s office said. In at least three instances, Landry sought children younger than 11 years old.
Robert Hannon, chancellor of the Catholic Diocese in Fairbanks, says they have filters on “many devices” but don’t routinely sweep computers “unless we have reason to believe something is wrong.”
“It was just pure accident that we happened to see an open chat session,” said Hannon, adding that he was “shocked” and “disturbed” by the findings.
Hannon, who has been with the Diocese for about nine years, says this is the first child porn incident he has encountered. The chancellor says there has not been any indication Landry targeted local children.
At Landry’s sentencing, Judge Ralph Beistline remarked that child exploitation and pornography victimizes children around the world. The U.S.’s laws are a “desperate attempt” to put an end to the child porn trade, he said.
Beistline also said he was troubled by the fact that Landry “had a position of respect in the community” and that he violated the parish’s trust.
The lifetime supervision includes Internet access restrictions, polygraph examinations, sex offender treatment and lifetime sex offender registration. The case was handled by the FBI.
–Elizabteh Raines contributed reporting.
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