Priest Facing Child Pornography Charges Waives To Trial

PITTSBURGH (KDKA0 – A local priest who was arrested on child pornography charges will be heading to trial.

Rev. Bartley Sorensen waived the charges to court at a hearing Tuesday morning.

His attorney said pornography is all over the Internet and his client was merely looking at it.

Rev. Sorensen is charged with possession of child pornography and waived those charges to trial. His lawyer said while his client may have viewed the material, he is not a pedophile.

Rev. Sorensen had nothing to say while walking out of his preliminary hearing on charges that he possessed and viewed child pornography on his personal computer as well as one used at St. John Fisher Catholic Church in Churchill.

“There’s nothing to be gained in this matter by having a preliminary hearing. So, we waived into court. We’ll go to his arraignment in February,” attorney Pat Thomassey said. “It’s simply a possession crime. There’s no allegation that there was anything physical involved with anybody.”

Investigators said Sorensen possessed a lot of child pornography, including several DVD’s and printed materials containing children involved in sex acts. Thomassey said.

“It’s just simply looking at things online that any of us could look at if we wanted to,” Thomassey said.

However, just looking was enough for the Diocese of Pittsburgh to relieve Sorensen of his pastoral duties pending the outcome of his legal issues.

Sorensen’s attorney made it clear that his client doesn’t have a problem in need of help.

“Listen, the morality of it I don’t talk about. The legality of it is horrible. This stuff is out there on the Internet. Anybody can sit down and look at it, just look at it, not do anything else and the government comes in and arrests you, puts you in jail,” Thomassey said.

Sorensen remains free on $100,000 unsecured bond and will be fitted with an ankle monitor. He’s been ordered by the court to have no contact with children.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. snapjudy says:

    Quoted: “It’s just simply looking at things online that any of us could look at if we wanted to,” Thomassey said”

    Are you kidding me? By possessing child porn, Sorenson is enabling kids to be sexually abused, he is feeding the child porn culture.
    And there is a good possibility that if he is capable of possessing and viewing thousands of child porn pictures, he could also be capable of harming a child.
    He is actually harming children by possessing child porn.

    We urge anyone who has knowledge about Sorenson’s wrongdoings, please contact the police. This is a crime…..

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
    snapjudy@gmail.com
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests” and all clergy.
    http://www.snapnetwork.org/

  2. snapjudy says:

    Maybe Attorney Pat Thomassey needs to read why child porn is so harmful..

    Victims of child pornography and sexual exploitation—“Masha’s Law ”
    http://www.marshlaw.us/

  3. snapspaner says:

    To expand on snapjudy’s link to Masha’s Law, the Marsh Law Firm has provided a brief summary of what the provision does for victims used in the production of pornography. However, the Masha’s Law provision is a section of the more expansive legislation PUBLIC LAW 109–248—JULY 27, 2006 titled, “Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006” [http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/Adam%20Walsh.pdf].

    If Mr. Thomassey, Sorenson’s lawyer, takes the time to study the law, he will find that his client was not “… just simply looking at things online that any of us could look at if we wanted to,” he was breaking the law, he was aiding and promoting the exploitation and sexual abuse of children. And that [the Law], Mr. Thomassey, is NOT “… Anybody can sit down and look at it, just look at it, not do anything else and the government comes in and arrests you, puts you in jail,” That [the Law] is healthy parents and good citizens protecting their children, the future parents and good citizens, from child predators and exploiters, and those who would protect and cover-up for child predators and exploiters.

    Please good citizens, empower the powerless, stand up for and with victims of child exploitation and sexual abuse. If you have been exploited or abused as a child, please call police. If you know someone who has been exploited or abused as a child, please call police. If you suspect that someone has exploited or abused a child, please call police.

    Your children and grand children deserve protection. My children and grand children deserve protection.

    Steven Spaner
    SNAP Australia Coordinator
    snapspaner@gmail.com

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