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GEORGIA: Former Savannah Episcopal priest sentenced to three years in federal prison for child pornography

GEORGIA: Former Savannah Episcopal priest sentenced to three years in federal prison for child pornography

By Jan Skutch
April 2, 2016

A former Episcopal priest has been sentenced to three years in federal prison on a guilty plea to possession of child pornography at his Druid Circle home in Savannah.

Bruce Fehr, a 55-year-old former priest at St. Francis Episcopal Church on Wilmington Island, must also pay a $10,000 fine and serve a 10-year term on supervised release after he completes his incarceration, U.S. District Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood ordered Wednesday in Savannah.

Fehr was indicted by a federal grand jury in September on a four-count indictment for distribution, possession and receipt of child pornography last year as part of a FBI-led Southeast Georgia Child Exploitation Task Force operation.

Search warrants were executed at his home April 29, 2015 where computers were seized and he was arrested.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Fehr pleaded guilty to a charge that he possessed images of child pornography involving a person younger than age 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia reacted to the Wilmington Island priest sentencing. The Rev. Bruce Fehr was sentenced by the Federal Court in Savannah to 36 months with 10 years of probation for downloading and viewing child pornography.

The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia says it respects the Federal Court's careful judgment.

The Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, released the following statement Friday.

"I am greatly saddened and angered by his crime. All children deserve the right to be free of such exploitation and we all should work to end such horrific practices. The Diocese will now begin our own process addressing the Reverend Fehr's conduct."

Fehr was inhibited by the Bishop on the morning of his arrest last May.


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