Over 100,000 Sexually Explicit Photos Of Children Found On Arrested Archbishop’s Computer

Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was previously stripped of his title over accusations of child molestation, was arrested last week. With an investigation underway, detectives of the Vatican have recently discovered that Wesolowski’s office computer contained sexually explicit content involving children — over 86,000 images and 160 videos were found. An additional 45,000 photos had been deleted from the computer.

Upon examination, the video files were of teenage boys being forced into sexual acts with each other and adults. The 86,000+ photographs had been neatly organized into category-based folders.

Photo credit: Orlando Barria/CNS

Photo credit: Orlando Barria/CNS

Wesolowski, who was head of the church in the Dominican Republic between 2008 and 2012, was originally allowed to walk freely in Rome despite the allegations of having paid minors for sex. Now, the 66-year-old former Archbishop is limited to a tiny room in the Collegio dei Penitenzieri’s basement, the same building that hosts the Vatican’s court and military police.

Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, said:

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“The seriousness of the allegations has prompted the official investigation to impose a restrictive measure that … consists of house arrest, with its related limitations, in a location within the Vatican City State.” (source)

The Vatican also said that Wesolowski’s arrest reflected the wishes of Pope Francis, who has vowed zero tolerance against church officials who commit sexual crimes against children. Previously, the Pope has called sexual abuse an “ugly crime” and compared it to “a Satanic Mass.”

Having previously served in  South Africa, Costa Rica, Japan, Switzerland, India and Denmark, authorities are now investigating if Wesolowski might have abused minors at other points in his career. Authorities are also looking for evidence that Wesolowski might have had assistance or been involved in a larger network of pedophiles. To date, Wesolowski is the the most prominent church figure to come under investigation for sexual abuse.

David Clohessy, director of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said:

“We are grateful that this action has finally been taken, feel it should have happened months ago, and believe it’s better if secular authorities are able to jail and prosecute Wesolowski.”  (source)

Wesolowski’s trial is scheduled for January, and if convicted he could get 12 years in jail.