Montana - 80-Yr-Old Catholic Priest Busted for 400 Images and 210 DVDs of Child Porn
There's another tragic tale of a Catholic Priest engaged in degenerate pedophilia-laden desires. This time 81-year-old former Priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Great Falls, Montana was arrested for receipt of child pornography.
As of this time, Krauth remains a free man awaiting trial, now with a felony indictment for his alleged receipt of child pornography.
A forensic examination of evidence seized from the suspect’s home includes illicit videos and images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct including oral, vaginal, and anal sex with other children and adults.
Lothar Konrad Krauth worked as a Priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Great Falls, Montana; from 1989 to 2014. He is known in the community as “Father Lou.”
All of the crimes Krauth is currently charged with are alleged to have taken place between October 26th, of 2017 and October 26th, of 2018, according to the Associated Press.
Krauth and his attorney Jason Holden have previously appeared before Federal Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston on charges of receipt of child pornography.
At that arraignment, the U.S. Attorney's Office has recommended him detained until trial. Days later, the Great Falls Tribune.
The complaint against Krauth alleged that some of the children are as young as 2-years-old and 3-years-old, infuriating locals after Krauth was released.
This type of practice is increasingly common in many states. A combination of overcrowding in county jails and detention centers for violent criminals mixed with overly liberal judges equal weakened perspectives on child sexual predators, who are a serious threat to minors.
As a result of the tip, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) discovered that an IP Address in Great Falls had uploaded child pornographic images of a naked prepubescent male boy, according to the Great Falls Tribune.
Records for the home showed that the residence was that of the former Priest, spawning further investigations into his alleged child pornographic obsession.
Both the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agency and the Great Falls Police Department immediately coordinated to execute a search warrant on Krauth’s home.
Authorities would seize more than 20 electronic devices including laptops, smartphones, personal computers, two digital cameras, six thumb drives, and SD cards, nine external hard drives, 210 DVDs/CDs, and 30 VCR tapes containing child pornography.
HSI agents identified approximately 400 images and videos of child pornography on the devices, including children engaging in sexual acts with both adults and other children.
The Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings issued a press release that says they're both stunned by the current allegations, and that despite them, they have never received a single complaint regarding Krauth or the sexual abuse of children.
In the meantime, the Diocese is offering its full support in compliance with an HSI investigation, including working with local police. Temporarily, the Diocese has suspended Krauth’s ability to function as a Priest, pending a permanent removal if found guilty in the trial.
“If these allegations are true, they are a betrayal of the trust we place in all ministers of the church such as Fr. Krauth,” said Bishop Michael Warfel in the release. “Anyone who takes advantage of and exploits children for their own gratification is reprehensible. There are no excuses for such behavior.”
Local news affiliate KXLH reports the following statement from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Great Falls: On Thursday, November 8, 2018, the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings was notified that a retired priest, who lives in Great Falls, was arrested by Federal Authorities with the complaint of receipt of child pornography. Bishop Michael Warfel and the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings is cooperating fully with the authorities in this case. While this case involves child pornography, the diocese has never received a complaint regarding sexual abuse of children by Fr. Krauth. Although Fr. Krauth has been retired for several years, Bishop Warfel has removed his faculties and he is not allowed to function as a priest at this time. Bishop Warfel said, “If these allegations are true, they are a betrayal of the trust we place in all ministers of the church such as Fr. Krauth. Anyone who takes advantage of and exploits children for their own gratification is reprehensible. There are no excuses for such behavior especially our priests.” Fr. Krauth has retained his own defense counsel.
With Krauth finally facing an indictment, he could face a mandatory minimum of five to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release if convicted.
If you or anyone you know has additional information about this case you're urged to contact the Great Falls Police Department at 406-727-7688 and leave a message.
Members of the public who have information about child-sexual predators are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is also bringing down suspected child-sex offenders through Operation Predator.
You can also contact ICE via the Operation Predator application for mobile devices. ICE has created a smartphone app – the first of its kind in U.S. federal law enforcement – designed to seek the public's help with fugitive and unknown suspect child predators.
It is also time that we as a society hold our elected officials accountable in demanding stricter punishments be enforced with tough new legislation against anyone who would victimize a child, of either life imprisonment, of capital punishment. Often, they are released and re-offend. There is no rehabilitation for child sex offenders.
NCMEC has circulated billions of photos of missing children, assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 284,000 missing children and facilitated training for more than 356,000 law enforcement, criminal/juvenile justice and healthcare professionals.
NCMEC’s Team HOPE volunteers have provided resources and emotional support to more than 63,000 families of missing and exploited children.