St. Louis Public Radio News
12:57 pm
Tue February 4, 2003

Florissant Priest Sentenced to Halfway House, Probation

St. Louis, Mo. – A Catholic priest from Florissant will spend 90 days in a halfway house and get five years' probation for having child pornography on his computer.

The Reverend John Hess is also banned from a job where he works with children and must pay a $5,000 fine. He has already been removed from his job at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

The FBI seized his computer in March. Hess first pleaded guilty in May to possessing child pornography. But yesterday the court allowed him to plead guilty to a different felony charge, based on an apparent inaccuracy in the search warrant affidavit.

Federal prosecutors say the computer contained hundreds of images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The arrest was part of a nationwide investigation called "Operation Candyman".