Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Chicago Roman Catholic Priest has been charged with possession of child pornography after authorities discovered images and videos of child pornography recovered from his place of residence within the Archdiocese of Chicago, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Octavio Munoz, 40, is charged with one felony count of Possession of Child Pornography. He appeared in bond court today at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago after being extradited to Chicago from Maryland, where he had been relocated by the Archdiocese.
At the time that the investigation began in July of 2015, Munoz was transitioning from his position as Director of Casa Jesus Seminary to the position of Pastor at St. Pancratius Church in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood. From 2009 to 2015 Munoz was Director of Casa Jesus, a program that works to recruit Latin American men into the priesthood for Hispanic ministry within the Archdiocese of Chicago.
According to prosecutors, members of the Cook County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Chicago Police Department began an investigation into the matter after being contacted by private investigators employed by the Archdiocese. At that time, law enforcement authorities were informed that an Archdiocesan employee had observed images of child pornography on a laptop computer purported to be owned by Munoz. Law enforcement authorities then executed multiple search warrants for all of Munoz’s electronic devices which were forensically evaluated during the pendency of the investigation.
According to prosecutors, the investigation and forensic evaluation recovered two movies that contained images of child pornography as well as hundreds of DVD’s and VHS tapes depicting minors, magazines containing images of minors, emails containing stories of sex with children and children’s underwear.
The public is reminded that criminal charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilty. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which time the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.