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Local priest indicted on federal child pornography charges after being allowed to relocate

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A local priest was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on child pornography charges.

Members of the Rhode Island State Police/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested 66-year-old Father James Jackson, of St. Mary’s Church, 538 Broadway, Providence, Rhode Island for Possession of Child Pornography, Transfer of Child Pornography, and Child Erotica Prohibited back in October.

ICAC Task Force members initiated an investigation regarding an individual sharing child pornography over the Internet. The Internet connection at St. Mary’s Church, 538 Broadway, Providence, Rhode Island was identified as allegedly connected to the sharing of the child pornography. On Saturday, ICAC Task Force members executed a court-authorized search warrant at St. Mary’s Church and rectory. Father Jackson was identified as the owner of digital media allegedly involved in the possession and transfer of child pornography and child erotica.

Father Jackson was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Steven Crawford and held on $5,000 surety bail. Father Jackson was assigned a future 6th District Court date and ordered the following additional special bail conditions which include no contact with children under 16 and restricted access to the Internet. Father Jackson was initially unable to post bail and was transported to the ACI Intake facility.

According to WPRI, Jackson was released on unsecured bond in November where a judge allowed him to move to Kansas to live with family while he awaits trial. Jackson is currently tracked by GPS.

A person found guilty of Possession of Child Pornography may be subject to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. A person found guilty of Transfer of Child Pornography may be subject to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than fifteen years, or both. A person found guilty of Possession of Child Erotica may be subject to a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

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