Orange County Criminal Defense

Priest Sentenced to 8 Years for Child Porn

A Roman Catholic priest, Rev. Bartley Sorenson, pled guilty to federal charges of possession of child pornography and on Wednesday, he was sentenced to eight years prison followed by five years supervised release.  Federal investigators had found almost 5000 sexually explicit images of child pornography on CDs in Sorenson’s church office.  Under California state law, possession of child pornography is prohibited by Penal Code section 311.1(a), which is a wobbler.  

However, any violation of Penal Code section 311.1(a) requires registration as a sex offender for life, pursuant to Penal Code section 290.  Penal Code section 311.1(a) basically states that it is illegal for any person to possess “any obscene matter, knowing that the matter depicts a person under the age of 18 personally engaging in or personally simulating sexual conduct, as defined in Section 311.4.”  Penal Code section 311(a) defines what is considered “obscene matter”.

 Although Penal Code section 311.1(a) is a wobbler, it is not subject to Penal Code section 1170(h).  That means, if the defendant is sentenced to prison, that prison must be served in state prison (as opposed to county prison), because it is a sex offense.

For more information about sex crimes, please visit our website.

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