West Chester priest pleads guilty in child porn case

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Monday, June 8, 2015
The Chester County District Attorney filed an Affidavit of Probable Cause in the arrest of priest Mark Haynes.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A suspended priest from West Chester, Pa. has pleaded guilty to federal charges in a child pornography case.

The Rev. Mark Haynes pleaded guilty Monday to using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual contact, possession and distribution of child pornography and destroying or concealing evidence.

Prosecutors alleged that around 2010 the 56-year-old posed as a 16-year-old girl named "Katie" on a teenage dating website, met minor girls online and requested that they take and send sexually explicit pictures.

Before his suspension by the archdiocese following his arrest last year, Haynes had been vicar of Saints Simon & Jude parish in Westtown Township since September 2013. Officials said he had also served in seven other suburban Philadelphia parishes.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10.