Former Maryland Priest Gets 22 Years For Abuse – NBC4 Washington

A former Maryland priest was sentenced Wednesday to 22 years in prison, followed by life imprisonment under the supervision of coercion and seduction of a child he met through church to engage in illegal sexual activity.

Fernando Cristancho, 65, who served as a priest at St. Ignatius Church in Hickory from 1999 to 2002, also admitted to taking nude photos of four other children, US attorney Erek Barron announced in a press release. After his release, Cristancho must register as a sex offender in the places where he lives, works and studies.

The settlement agreement stated that when Cristancho arrived in the parish in 1999, he spent time with a boy’s family outside the church, then arranged to spend time with the boy and sexually abused him for several years.

When Cristancho went to a retail pharmacy to use photo-printing equipment in 2017, an employee saw several photos of naked children on Cristancho’s smartphone and filed a complaint, prosecutors said. Investigators later seized digital devices from Cristancho’s home and found photos and videos of children, mostly recorded when the children were under 5.

A statement on the archdiocese’s website states that Cristancho has been banned from serving as a priest in the archdiocese since 2002, when he refused an assignment to another parish.

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