A priest serving the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been arrested for the alleged possession and dissemination of child pornography.
Father Mark Haynes, 55, was arrested after nude images of underage girls were found on an Instagram account connected to Haynes. A police investigation determined that Haynes had been posing as a 16 year-old girl online, exchanging explicit emails with a 14 year-old girl who has yet to be identified by police. They also discovered that Haynes had been obtaining and posting many other images of child pornography for some time.
Pennsylvania communities are especially alarmed given that Haynes has worked with several parishes throughout his career where he has been in close proximity to children. The Philadelphia Archdiocese said in a statement that these charges are “serious and disturbing”.
Haynes has since been placed on leave pending the outcome of this investigation and he no longer resides in the parish rectory. He was ordained in 1985 for the Philadelphia Archdiocese and was working at Saints Simon and Jude Parish in Chester County at the time of his arrest.
Haynes faces six counts of possessing and disseminating child pornography.