Ex-priest appears in court on child porn charge

Author: Deborah Wrigley
Date Published: 07/09/2010

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A different setting for a former priest — Stephen Burke was in court Friday morning on charges of possessing child pornography.

Burke was removed as priest of St. Anthony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church in Spring back in January, but still he wore his clerical garments to court on Friday.

Burke is accused of two counts of possession of child pornography. It was allegedly found on his church computer. The state claims it consists of a few images of young girls in various stages of undress. Burke was allegedly unable to offer an explanation for the images, either to church members or investigators.

”His explanation, based on the police investigation, was inconsistent with what was found on the computer that he used,” explained Darian Darby with the Internet Crimes Task Force. ”Several of the images included, as probable cause states, images of children under the age of 12, also one image of the defendant undressed.”

Defense attorney David Breston said, ”We look forward to clearing Father Burke in a jury trial.”

Authorities don’t believe Burke knew any of the girls in these images that were allegedly found on his computer. Burke remains free on $20,000 bond.