Catholic Priest

Bartley A. Sorensen

Ordained: 1976
Diocese: Diocese of Pittsburgh

From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

On December 9, 2011, a woman went to the residence of Father Bartley A. Sorensen in order to speak with him. Upon entering his office, she observed him looking at child pornography on his computer.  She believed that the child was older than five years of age, but no more than 10 years of age.  When she questioned him about it, he acknowledged it. The woman left and immediately reported the incident to the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

By special mandate, the Bishop placed Sorensen on administrative leave and all his faculties were revoked. The Diocese then immediately contacted the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.  Sorensen was arrested that same day.  A search of Sorensen’s residence revealed over 5,000 images of child pornography on his computer, as well as on CDs, DVDs and various print books.  The information was then turned over to the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania who prosecuted the crime federally.

On May 23, 2012, Sorensen entered a guilty plea and was incarcerated immediately. On January 2, 2013, he was sentenced to 97 months of incarceration, followed by five years of supervised release.  Additionally, he is required to permanently register as a convicted sex offender and pay a fine of $25,000.

Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation.  A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.