Suspended West Chester priest sentenced 20 years in child porn case

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- A suspended priest from West Chester, Pa. has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in a child pornography case.

56-year-old Mark Haynes pleaded guilty in June 2015 to using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual contact, possession and distribution of child pornography and destroying or concealing evidence.

Before his suspension by the archdiocese following his 2014 arrest, Haynes had been vicar of Saints Simon & Jude parish since September 2013.

Prosecutors said Haynes had posed as a 16-year-old girl named "Katie" on a teenage dating website around 2010, met minor girls online, and requested that they take and send sexually explicit pictures.

While under court supervision, officials say Haynes had an 86-year old friend of his mother retrieve his computer from his apartment at the rectory. Haynes then destroyed the computer, discarding the hard drive in a dumpster in New Jersey.

At sentencing, officials say the judge heard testimony from victims regarding Haynes' sexual abuse of children from his parish at Saint Ann's in Phoenixville as far back as 1985 through 1991.