A retired Catholic priest in Boise, Idaho, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, without parole, after pleading guilty to five felonies that included possession and distribution of child pornography and possession of the drug LSD.
The priest, according to detectives as reported in the Idaho Statesman, had more than 2,000 files of pornography -- many depicting children in sexual or exploitative acts -- and was, through emails and online chats, "'actively seeking interests with gay men, satanic interests,' and the rape and killing of minors."
The situation was considered so disturbing that the Diocese of Boise had one of its exorcists pray over the priest's home. As Fr. John Worster, pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Boise, told the Idaho Statesman, “I had our diocesan exorcist and his prayer team come and pray over the house.”
“We believe in demonic powers," he said. "We brought in the ghostbusters" to clean out the "spiritual filth."
Rev. W. Thomas Faucher, 73, was a priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church and had retired in 2014; he was arrested on Feb. 2, 2018 at his home, which he rented from the diocese.
At the time of his arrest, police found more than 2,000 "photos and videos depicting child sexual abuse" on the priest's "computer and phone," reported the Idaho Statesman. Prosecutors also charged that Faucher had communicated in "online chat rooms about having a desire to rape and kill children," the newspaper added.
According to Detective John Brumbaugh, as the Statesman reported, Faucher expressed the desire to have sex with boys in an online chat and he also discussed having "satanic desires."
Faucher also reportedly said "the thought of killing someone does begin to excite me," testified the detective.
Brumbaugh further testified that he first learned about Fr. Faucher's criminal activities after receiving a cybertip that included images sent from an email account linked to St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Some of the images found by police at Faucher's home showed "live animals being abused" and "children and adults being set on fire," tweeted Statesman reporter Ruth Brown.
Brown and fellow-reporter Katy Moeller also noted that Detective Brumlaugh testified that Faucher's online chats included discussing fantasies about "the sexual abuse of altar boys and babies, and saying that he liked a video of a boy being beaten to death."
"Other images the detective said the investigation found included depictions of black slavery, which Faucher spoke about using racist language, as well as images of Faucher urinating on a cross and canon law book," said the Statesman.
"Faucher also wrote that he urinated in the wine for Mass at least once, Brumbaugh told the courtroom."
Diocesan spokesman Gene Fadness said that Fr. Faucher "was not just a priest, but a prominent priest, well known. This has been very difficult for everyone involved." Fadness added that the diocese would start the process to have Fr. Faucher "laicized," which means he would not be able to function as a priest.
Faucher was sentenced on Dec. 20, after he pleaded guilty to the five felony counts. Because he has no chance of parole and is 73 years old, it is likely that he will die in prison.
Faucher's home in Boise was exorcised and blessed in June.