GREELEY, Colo. - The former pastor of a Greeley church has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography.
Richard Craft, 69, is a former interim pastor at Family of Christ Presbyterian Church.
Craft told U.S. District Judge Brooke Jackson that he was unable to stay away from the illegal images.
Craft was sentenced Monday to five years on supervised release after he completes 10 years in prison, and he must register as a sex offender. The former pastor is currently free on bond, but he was ordered to report to a prison facility once one has been designated.
Craft was indicted for possessing, receiving and distributing child pornography in August 2012. In return for his guilty plea to one count of possession, prosecutors agreed to drop the other charges.
According to court documents, an undercover FBI agent in Philadelphia connected to an online file-sharing program and found several files that contained child pornography. An investigation into the files revealed that they were being shared from Craft’s home computer in Thornton.
Craft pleaded guilty to the possession and distribution of child pornography between July 2007 and January 2008.
"As the defendant told Judge Jackson during his sentencing hearing, sexual predators view children as objects for gratification, not human beings to nurture," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "The lengthy prison sentence is a result of the fact of the defendant’s compulsive viewing of child pornography."
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Program.
"The FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Program will continue to aggressively investigate cases that involve possession of child pornography in order to protect our children from predators on the streets and online," said FBI Denver Acting Special Agent in Charge Steven Olson.
A hearing is scheduled for June 6 to determine the amount of restitution the victims involved in the case will receive.