OTTAWA – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police executed search warrants Oct. 13 at the Nova Scotia residences and office of Bishop Raymond Lahey.
The searches mark a widening of the investigation into the activities of the bishop, who was charged in Ottawa with the possession and importation of child pornography.
“Ottawa Police Service provided us with evidence they had gathered up as part and parcel of their investigation,” Sgt. Brigdit Leger, media relations officer for the RCMP in Nova Scotia, said in an Oct. 14 telephone interview. “As with all investigations, we wanted to ensure that all possible avenues of investigation had been exhausted.”
Ottawa police filed charges against the bishop Sept. 25, after a preliminary investigation of his laptop computer revealed the presence of pornographic images of children.
Bishop Lahey, 69, who resigned as archbishop of Antigonish Sept. 26, had been flagged by an Ottawa Border Services agent Sept. 15 when he returned to Canada on a flight from London.
Ottawa police had requested RCMP assistance in arresting Bishop Lahey, who had gone to a New Brunswick monastery after he had been released following a cursory investigation of his laptop.
Bishop Lahey turned himself in to Ottawa police Oct. 1.
“Based on the information provided by the (Ottawa) police service, we thought it would be prudent to ensure that no further evidence existed in the office or home of Bishop Raymond Lahey,” Leger said.
Bishop Lahey is scheduled to appear in an Ottawa courtroom Nov. 4 to answer the original charges. He has been staying at a priests’ residence in Ottawa since posting bail of CA$9,000 ($8,317).