BOISE, Idaho — Hundreds of child pornography images as well as marijuana, LSD and ecstasy were discovered in the home of a retired priest from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Boise, prosecutors said.
The Rev. W. Thomas Faucher was arrested Friday after police served a search warrant at his apartment, which he rented from the church.
Faucher, 72, is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children and two counts of distributing sexually exploitative material involving minors. He was also charged with felony and misdemeanor drug possession.
At the arraignment hearing Monday, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Kassandra Slaven said officers found an open internet chat on Faucher’s computer during the search. The chat contained graphic communications that expressed his desire to sexually abuse children, Slaven said.
Authorities began the investigation into Faucher after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, officials said.
Slaven requested for Faucher’s bail to be set $500,000. The judge set it at $250,000 and ordered Faucher to have no contact with children. The judge also barred Faucher from accessing the internet.
Defense attorney Mark Manweiler argued for Faucher’s release, saying no complaints of abuse or impropriety have been filed against him during his more than 40-year career, which involved being around thousands of children.
Manweiler said that Faucher cooperated with officers and answered questions from police during five hours of interviews.
The Rev. John Worster, of St. Mary’s, told the Idaho Press-Tribune that Faucher retired in 2015, but stilled preached occasionally.