New York Priest Arrested On Child Porn, Drug Charges

New York Priest Arrested On Child Porn, Drug Charges

By McCarton Ackerman 02/08/17

The man faces five counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child and two counts of drug possession.

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Long Island residents are stunned after a local priest was arrested last weekend on drug and child porn charges.

The New York Daily News reported that Reverend Christopher King, 51, was arrested inside his parish residence last Friday (Feb. 3). A police raid turned up 12 grams of crystal meth and 38 non-prescribed Xanax pills in his church office and bedroom, while his computer contained five child pornography videos.

King faces five counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child and two counts of drug possession. He pleaded not guilty on all charges on Saturday during his arraignment in the town of Hempstead. King was ordered held on $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash bail.

He was a priest at St. James of Jerusalem Episcopal Church in Long Beach, New York, but Bishop Lawrence Provenzano said in a statement, “As a result of these allegations, I have today terminated Father King’s license to function as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Long Island. The diocese and the entire Episcopal Church have a zero tolerance policy with respect to criminal conduct of any kind.”

Provenzano also assured parishioners at the church that the diocese would “provide pastoral care and consult with the congregation and any others impacted by these charges.”

However, King isn’t the first priest to find themselves involved in a drug scandal. Father Sean P. Thomson, the parish priest at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, was arrested in 2014 after failing a roadside sobriety test and blowing more than triple the legal limit. To make matters worse, he failed to mention that he was carrying a small bag of marijuana and 9mm handgun in his back pocket.

Thomson was allowed to keep his priest status immediately after the arrest, but was banned from performing ministerial duties such as administering sacraments and saying mass for parishioners.

In the summer of 2012, Michigan pastor Reverend Peter Petroske was arrested for driving drunk while in the nude. The Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn suspended him from his duties upon hearing of his unusual activity. Petroske had been serving as a priest in the Detroit area for more than 20 years.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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