Former priest sentenced for child exploitation charges

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Authorities announced on Wednesday a former priest was sentenced for child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Mark Haynes, 56, of West Chester, Pa., was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Authorities say Haynes, a former parochial Vicar at Saint Simon and Jude’s Church in West Chester, pleaded guilty on June 8, 2015 to using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual conduct, transfer of obscene material to a minor, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and destruction or concealment of evidence.  In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick ordered 10 years of supervised release, a fine of $15,000, and a $700 special assessment.

According to authorities, around 2010, Haynes posed as a 15-year old girl named “Katie” on a teen pen pal site on Instagram.  Authorities say as “Katie,” Haynes would meet young teenage girls online, engage in sexual chats, and send them child pornography photos and videos in an attempt to entice them to take and send sexually explicit pictures of themselves. 

Haynes is also charged with distributing other images and videos of children being sexually assaulted over the Internet in 2014.  After his arrest by the Chester County Criminal Investigation Division, Haynes was released on bail.  While under court supervision, According to authorities, Haynes duped an 86-year-old friend of his mother into retrieving his computer from his apartment at the rectory at Saint Simon and Jude’s.  Haynes then destroyed the computer, discarding the hard drive in a dumpster in New Jersey. At sentencing, Judge Surrick heard testimony from victims regarding Haynes’ sexual abuse of children from his parish at Saint Ann’s in Phoenixville as far back as 1985 through 1991. 

 

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