Paedophile priest, 70, jailed for 12 years
A Catholic priest who worked at a Detroit high school has been jailed for 12 years for possessing child porn and sexually assaulting a former student.
Richard James Kurtz, above – formerly a chemistry teacher at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School – read a statement before Judge Mark Goldsmith, saying he was “deeply sorry” for his actions.
Words can’t express how much remorse I feel … Some of my victims have names that are known to me. I am guilty of capturing images of them for my perverse pleasure … I accept full responsibility for betraying them.
Before handing down the prison sentence, Goldsmith said:
Some of these victims were not nameless unknowns, but persons, young people who interacted with the defendant. The defendant violated, in terrible ways, the safety and sense of security that every child has the right to enjoy.
Kurtz gazed into his lap for most of his sentencing hearing and appeared gaunt in his Wayne County Jail jumpsuit.
Kurtz’s attorney, Christopher Andreoff, said his client has lost nearly 15 pounds and was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety.
“I’m very concerned about his health, Andreoff said, before asking the judge to allow Kurtz to be placed in a facility where he can receive proper care.
I’m asking the court for mercy and redemption and to allow him to see the light of day.
Kurtz was dismissed from the school in 2001 when a 16-year-old boy accused him of sexual assault on a trip to Colorado. The family didn’t pursue charges at the time, but an investigation was opened in 2011 and Kurtz was convicted and placed on probation.
Following this incident, several people came forward, according to the sentencing memorandum, and disclosed other instances of sexual misconduct by Kurtz.
Investigators said Kurtz also secretly recorded video of University of Detroit Jesuit hockey players while they changed in a locker room in the late 1990s.
Kurtz’s child porn collection was discovered in 2011 by priests who were packing his belongings at former residences in Clarkston, Michigan, and Chicago.
According to federal court documents, the priests observed material containing images of underage boys, both clothed and nude. The images were turned over to the FBI, who discovered more than 2,300 images of child pornography on various computer media, floppy disks, printed pictures and photographic paper.