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WORCESTER, MA: Former Episcopal priest gets 6 years on child porn charge

WORCESTER, MA: Former Episcopal priest gets 6 years on child porn charge

Sept. 18, 2020

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) -- A former Episcopal priest in Massachusetts convicted of downloading child pornography was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison.

Gregory Lisby, 41, received the sentence in U.S. District Court in Worcester during a hearing at which it was disclosed that he had sexual contact with a 16-year-old boy, The Telegram & Gazette reported.

Lisby, former rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Worcester, was not charged with crimes related to the sexual encounter because the boy was the age of consent, prosecutors said.

A judge ruled Lisby deserved an enhanced sentence for encouraging the boy to send him sexually explicit material online. But Lisby's lawyer argued that the boy lied about his age on an online sexual dating site and no evidence of sexual images was uncovered.

Lisby pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in February after investigators found hundreds of images of child pornography in his online storage.

Lisby has been removed from the priesthood, the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts said.

Lisby also previously worked as a kindergarten teacher, but authorities say there is no evidence of abuse during that time.

VOL FOOTNOTE: A source told VOL that Saint Luke's has remained closed since March. A letter to the office of the bishop of the diocese in Springfield regarding Lisby asking why he was allowed to live at the Saint Luke's rectory (in effect supported by parishioners), after being suspended from the priesthood and dismissed from All Saints downtown got no response. even though Bishop Douglas Fisher 'invited anyone with concerns to come forward', etc. etc. We predict that Saint Luke's will be one of the twenty percent of churches that do not survive the viral pandemic; the combination of diminishing membership, FBI raid, child pornography conviction, and reduced finances will do it in. It would be nice if the vestry released the current rector (Timothy Burger, the "husband" of Lisby) and then searched for a new rector if we are ever immunized, but this of course would require approval from the bishop."

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