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October 20, 2009

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Pike priest arrested on child pornography charges

MILFORD –  A priest, who had presided at two Catholic parishes in Pike County until last spring, surrendered, Monday, to face child pornography charges.  Fr. Robert Timchak faces on multiple charges alleging possession of sexually explicit images of young boys, based on information initially provided by the Diocese of Scranton, last December. 

The arrest culminates a lengthy investigation that began when authorities were contacted by the Diocese of Scranton, regarding an anonymous letter, containing explicit photographs and comments.  The photos were associated with Timchak’s personal e-mail address. 

Timchak’s home was searched and computers seized.  That led to his arrest on 18 felony counts of sexual abuse of children, alleging possession of sexually explicit images .  He also faces one count of tampering with evidence, based on an apparent attempt to delete images of nude underage males from his computer.

The files were forwarded to the National Center for Missing and Exploited children.  The center reported that files contained child victims who have been identified by law enforcement.

The initial letter that attracted the attention of the Diocese contained the front cover of a bulletin from Saint John Neumann and Good Shepherd churches.

Timchak had been a priest in the Diocese of Scranton since 1992, most recently serving at St. John Neumann, in Lords Valley, and St. Vincent de Paul, in Milford.  He was granted a leave of absence by the Diocese last April.

Timchak surrendered to authorities Monday afternoon.  He was arraigned in Magisterial Court.  A preliminary hearing is set for November 4. 

Timchak is free on his own recognizance, but reportedly is staying at a church-run counseling facility near Philadelphia.


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