Kansas priest pleads guilty to child porn charges after sister tries to run over tablet

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A Kansas priest pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography in federal court on July 26, U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Stephen McAllister said.

Christopher Rossman, 46, admitted that investigators found child pornography on his tablet, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. A monitoring software on Rossman’s device reported in September 2016 that he had visited adult and child pornography websites.

The archdiocese was made aware of the crime and reported it to law enforcement, according to both the statement and a statement from the archdiocese. Father Rossman was immediately suspended from ministry, according to the archdiocese.

Rossman formerly served at the Annunciation Catholic Church in Baldwin City, Kansas.

Investigators learned that Rossman’s sister later tried to run over the tablet several times, the statement said. Investigators were still able to find files on the device showing minors engaged in sexual activities.

“Since his suspension, he has been restricted from exercising any priestly ministry and has been prohibited from presenting himself as a priest,” the archdiocese stated.

Now that a decision has been made on the charges, the archdiocese states the process of laicization, or removing a man from the priesthood, will begin. Rossman’s has also been moved to a permanent list of substantiated offenders within the church.

The crime carries a penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for a later date.

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