No child porn found on Independence church’s computers, Catholic diocese says

None of the computers seized in March by federal and state authorities from a Roman Catholic church in Independence contained photographs or videos of child pornography, according to a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The computers were taken from the office of St. Ann Parish at 10113 E. Lexington Ave. on March 26 after detectives alerted parish officials that they had detected two downloads of child pornography from peer-to-peer websites by an Internet address associated with the parish office, said Jack Smith, a diocesan spokesman.

Smith said Independence police alerted diocesan officials on Wednesday that the case was closed after federal computer forensic investigators did not find any pornographic material.

The parish office had an insecure Wi-Fi connection, which meant the downloads could have been made by a parish office computer or by someone nearby. The downloads occurred between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 5, Smith said.

Shortly after the search warrant was executed, Bishop Robert W. Finn directed staff to alert all parishes, schools and diocesan offices about the need to secure and encrypt all wireless routers, and implement other security measures, he said.

Parish and diocesan staff cooperated with authorities during the investigation. The computers and other equipment soon will be returned to the parish office, Smith said.