CHICAGO â€”A Roman Catholic priest charged with possessing violent childpornography was sentenced Tuesday to more than seven years in prison bya federal judge who said she could not "help but be appalled."
The Rev. Daniel Schulte, 54, must register as a sex offender when heis released from his 87-month sentence, give up computers and neverhave unsupervised access to minors, District Judge Blanche M. Manningsaid.
"He has victimized young children, possibly scarring them for life,"Manning said, giving Schulte the maximum under federal guidelines. "Thecourt cannot help but be appalled."
In a quiet voice, Schulte said he was sorry about "the childrenwhose innocence I've stolen by downloading child pornography" andapologized for "the embarrassment and scandal I've caused for others."
His attorney, Patrick Cotter, pleaded with Manning to show mercy,saying that Schulte had never been accused of touching any children,merely of downloading images, and that his client had been sexuallyabused as a child.
Schulte remains a priest but could be defrocked later, said the Rev.Raymond Van Dorpe, assistant provincial at the mission in Earth City,Mo., where Schulte worked when he was charged. Schulte's Internetservice provider had contacted the order with the suspicion that childporn had been accessed.