Rhode Island priest gets 6 years in federal prison for massive child porn stash

A Roman Catholic priest who admitted to a federal judge earlier this year that he downloaded and stored thousands of images of child sexual abuse was sentenced to six years in federal prison.

The investigation into the Rev. James W. Jackson, 68, a former Rhode Island priest assigned to St. Mary’s Church in Providence, began in September 2021.

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An East Providence detective identified an IP address assigned to the rectory at St. Mary’s Church that was being utilized to share files of child sexual abuse material, prosecutors said.

A court-authorized search of a computer and digital device located in a church rectory bedroom utilized by Jackson discovered images and videos of child sexual abuse.

A forensic audit of the devices subsequently identified over 12,000 images and 1,300 videos of child sexual abuse, according to Zachary Cunha, U.S. attorney for Rhode Island.

Email and phone messages were left with a lawyer for Jackson seeking comment on Wednesday’s sentencing.

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