William Vatterott, Catholic priest, indicted on child pornography charges

William Vatterott, a Roman Catholic priest in St. Louis was indicted Wednesday, on charges of possession of child pornography from the Internet. William Vatterott faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000, if convicted.

A federal grand jury indicted a Catholic priest in St. Louis on Wednesday on child pornography charges involving Internet images of a boy under the age of 18, in the latest sex accusation to rock the Church.

William Vatterott, 36, was charged with possession of child pornography, according to the indictment released by the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000, if convicted.

The indictment is the latest in a series of abuse accusations to hit the U.S. Catholic Church over the past two decades. The scandals have cost the Church billions of dollars in settlements and driven prominent dioceses into bankruptcy.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said the Archdiocese of St. Louis cooperated with the investigation.

The archdiocese placed Vatterott on administrative leave in June 2011 when it first learned of the allegations, according to a statement it issued on Wednesday. Vatterott was also accused of an incident involving underage drinking and inappropriate behavior, the archdiocese said at the time.

Vatterott had served as pastor of St. Cecilia Parish since 2008, according to the archdiocese.

The case comes after Kansas City priest Shawn Ratigan pleaded guilty last August to producing child pornography. In September, Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of failing to report suspected child abuse when he did not report that Ratigan had the pornographic images.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Brendan O'Brien, Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.