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Retired Montana priest facing child pornography charge released pending trial

Posted at 5:32 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 14:33:15-05

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Lothar Konrad Krauth of Great Falls, 80 years old, appeared in federal court in Great Falls on Wednesday for a detention hearing related to criminal charges of receipt of child pornography.

On October 10, 2018, agents with the Department of Homeland Security received a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) CyberTip identifying an IP address in Great Falls as uploading an image of a nude prepubescent male child. A Summons to the internet service provider identified the IP address as assigned to Krauth.

Lothar Konrad Krauth
Lothar Konrad Krauth

Court documents state that officers with the Great Falls Police Department and HSI seized approximately 20 items of electronic devices at his house on October 26; the items included a desktop computer, nine hard drives, six thumb drives, two digital cameras, 210 DVDs/CDs, and 30 VCR tapes.

A forensic examination of the devices revealed approximately 400 images of child pornography, to include children engaged in sexually explicit conduct to include oral, vaginal, and anal acts with other children and adults. The majority of the images depict prepubescent children, some as young as approximately two or three years old.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office states that the complaint is merely an accusation and Krauth is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If indicted and convicted of the charge in the complaint, Krauth faces a minimum mandatory five years to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release.

The investigation identified Krauth as being a retired Catholic Priest assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Great Falls from 1989 to 2014.  He is known throughout the community as “Father Lou.”

Wednesday’s detention hearing began at 9:21 a.m. and concluded at 9:46 a.m.

The judge determined that Krauth could be released pending his next court appearance, and imposed the following requirements:

  • The defendant must not violate federal, state, or local law while on release
  • The defendant must cooperate in the collection of a DNA sample if it is authorized
  • The defendant must advise the court or the pretrial services office or supervising officer in writing before making any change of residence or telephone number
  • The defendant must appear in court as required and, if convicted, must surrender as directed to serve a sentence that the court may impose.

In addition, the court imposed the following conditions on Krauth:

  • surrender any passport to: US Probation Office
  • not obtain a passport or other international traveI document
  • abide by the following restrictions on personal association. residence, or travel: Cascade County
  • avoid all contact. directly or indirectly, with any person who is or may be a victim or witness in the investigation or prosecution
  • not possess a firearm, destructive device, or other weapon.
  • Curfew. You are restricted to your residence every day from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  • submit to location monitoring as directed by the pretrial services office or supervising officer and comply with all of the program
  • report as soon as possible to the Pretrial Service Office or supervising officer every contact with law enforcement personnel including arrests, questioning, or traffic stops
NOVEMBER 10, 2018: Retired priest charged with receipt of child pornography