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Press Release

Former Priest Pleads Guilty To Distributing And PossessingChild Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

Timothy Murray, 62, of Novi, pleaded guilty to one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possession child pornography, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.  McQuade was joined in the announcement by Acting Special Agent in Charge William Hayes of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Detroit.

According to court records, Murray used peer-to-peer software to trade child pornography with others, including an undercover DHS Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent.  A search warrant executed at Murray’s home recovered at least seven different computer devices containing videos and images of child pornography.  Murray’s collection included over 650 movies and over 450 images of child pornography.  Murray had previously served as a Catholic priest within the Archdiocese of Detroit before being removed from public ministry when substantiated allegations of Murray’s prior sexual abuse of a young boy came to light.       

United States Attorney McQuade stated, “With his guilty plea, this defendant acknowledges his continued criminal sexual interest in children.  The hands-on sexual abuse that led to his removal from public ministry by the Catholic church had long-lasting effects on the defendant’s prior victim.  Similarly, the victims depicted in his extensive collection of child pornography suffered greatly not only at the hands of their abusers, but by those, like the defendant, who collect and continue to view the permanent depictions of their abuse.”

“This case serves as a reminder that child predators often try to portray themselves as trustworthy members of the community and parents everywhere should remain vigilant to potential dangers,” said acting special agent in charge of HSI Detroit William J. Hayes. “HSI and its law enforcement partners will continue to work aggressively to identify, investigate and seek prosecution for the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes.”    

Murray will be sentenced on December 4, 2013 at 2pm, by the Honorable Victoria A. Roberts.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Murray faces a sentence of 262-327 months in federal prison.

McQuade praised the work of the HSI agents for their professionalism and dedication in their aggressive and thorough investigation of these cases. 

Assistant United States Attorney Kevin M. Mulcahy prosecuted this case for the United States.

Updated March 19, 2015