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Retired priest pleads guilty to child porn charge

Lothar Konrad Krauth, a retired Catholic priest, pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography Monday.

The 81-year-old admitted he searched for images of child pornography on the internet and that he knew it was illegal.

In October of 2018, agents with the Department of Homeland Security received a cybertip tracing the IP address to Krauth.

Agents and Great Falls police executed a search warrant at Krauth’s residence on October 26, 2018 where they seized approximately 20 items of electronic media including a desktop computer, external hard drives, six thumb drives, and more.

Court documents state a preliminary examination of the desktop computer identified approximately 400 images of child pornography while a subsequent analysis revealed thousands.

Krauth came to the United States in 1978 and worked for perishes throughout north-central Montana. He was assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Great Falls from 1989 to 2014.

Krauth’s sentencing has been set for July 18. He faces a minimum mandatory five years to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

(NOVEMBER 15, 2018) Lothar Konrad Krauth of Great Falls, 80 years old, appeared in federal court in Great Falls for a detention hearing related to criminal charges of receipt of child pornography.

On October 10, 2018, agents with the Department of Homeland Security received a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) CyberTip identifying an IP address in Great Falls as uploading an image of a nude prepubescent male child. A Summons to the internet service provider identified the IP address as assigned to Krauth.

Lothar Konrad Krauth
Lothar Konrad Krauth

Court documents state that officers with the Great Falls Police Department and HSI seized approximately 20 items of electronic devices at his house on October 26; the items included a desktop computer, nine hard drives, six thumb drives, two digital cameras, 210 DVDs/CDs, and 30 VCR tapes.

A forensic examination of the devices revealed approximately 400 images of child pornography, to include children engaged in sexually explicit conduct to include oral, vaginal, and anal acts with other children and adults. The majority of the images depict prepubescent children, some as young as approximately two or three years old.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office states that the complaint is merely an accusation and Krauth is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If indicted and convicted of the charge in the complaint, Krauth faces a minimum mandatory five years to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release.

The investigation identified Krauth as being a retired Catholic Priest assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Great Falls from 1989 to 2014.  He is known throughout the community as “Father Lou.”

Wednesday’s detention hearing began at 9:21 a.m. and concluded at 9:46 a.m.

Margaret DeMarco

Margaret DeMarco

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