- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

WESTTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A Philadelphia-area priest has been arrested on charges of posting and exchanging child porn images on a photo-sharing site.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said Friday the Rev. Mark Haynes was taken into custody on charges of child pornography, disseminating images of child sex acts and criminal use of a communications facility.

Police say images of naked underage girls were found on an Instagram account with the user name “Katie” but belonging to 55-year-old Haynes, who has been vicar of Saints Simon & Jude parish in Westtown Township since September 2013.

Detective Joseph Walton said in a criminal complaint that Haynes acknowledged receiving about 100 images and sending about 50 to others. Police said he told them that he posed as a 16-year-old girl on a dating site around four years ago and received lewd videos from someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement Friday there had been no indication that Haynes was involved in any such activity, and he was immediately placed on administrative leave and no longer resides at the parish.

The statement called the charges “serious and disturbing” and said child pornography “is a scourge that must be eradicated.”

Officials said Haynes, who was ordained in 1985, had also served in seven other suburban Philadelphia parishes.

Haynes remained in custody in lieu of $200,000; it was unclear whether he had an attorney.

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