Long Beach Episcopal priest arrested on child porn, drug charges

Detectives say Christopher King, a parish priest at St. James Episocopal Church of Long Beach, became the target of an investigation. (Photo credit: Police handout)

Detectives say Christopher King, a parish priest at St. James Episocopal Church of Long Beach, became the target of an investigation. (Photo credit: Police handout) (2/4/17)

LONG BEACH - Police say an Episcopal priest in Long Beach has been arrested on child pornography and drug charges.

Detectives say Christopher King, a parish priest at St. James Episocopal Church of Long Beach, became the target of an investigation.

A search of the 51-year-old's parish residence uncovered child pornography files on a computer, according to police. They say they found up to five videos depicting mostly young boys, some as young as 2 or 3 years old, engaged in sexual activities.

Officers say they also uncovered meth, Xanax pills and drug-related paraphernalia at the priest's residence.

King was arrested and is facing five counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Bishop Lawrence C. Provenzano, of the Episocopal Diocese of Long Island, issued a statement that reads in part, "The diocese and the entire Episcopal Church have a zero tolerance policy with respect to criminal conduct of any kind, including the allegations made against Father King. As a result of these allegations, I have today terminated Father King’s license to function as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Long Island. We will also provide pastoral care and consult with the congregation and any others impacted by these charges."

Laura Ahearn, of Parents for Megan's Law, says the arrest is particularly disturbing because King was around children.

King is being held on $100,000 bond and is due back in court on Tuesday.

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