Bail Denied For Chester County Priest Accused of Sex Crimes

By Tony Hanson and Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A federal judge today denied bail for a Chester County priest charged with internet sex crimes.

Meanwhile, the defense, which argued for bail, says it is eager to confront the charges against Father Mark Haynes, 55, who will plead not guilty to charges that include enticing a child to engage in sexual conduct and possession of child pornography.

Judge Lawrence Stengel ruled against bail for Haynes after reviewing the prosecution’s evidence, including new allegations that Haynes lied to authorities after his arrest, and that he concealed and tried to destroy an incriminating computer that authorities cannot find.

“If true, the allegations that have been advanced by the government this afternoon are very, very serious, and speak to an ongoing and persistent pattern of predatory conduct with respect to minor children,” Judge Stengel said.

And authorities add that since Haynes’ arrest, three people have come forward to claim they were sexually assaulted by Haynes as minors in the 1990s. They conceded, however, that those allegations are now beyond the statute of limitations.

In one case, prosecutor Michelle Rotella revealed in a court motion that Haynes told a woman, admitting to sex acts in the confessional, to perform the same sex acts on him.

Prosecutor Rotella asked anyone with information to call the Newtown Square FBI Office at 610-353-4500.

A statement issued by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, reads, in part:

“Archbishop Charles Chaput should personally visit each place the priest worked, begging victims, witnesses, whistleblowers to call law enforcement immediately.”

Archdiocesan officials, in a statement, indicated there had been no complaints received about Father Haynes prior to his arrest last October. They encouraged anyone who believes they may have been victimized to come forward immediately to investigators.

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