Former KGO-AM San Francisco talk host Bernie Ward has been sentenced to seven years, three months in federal prison. Ward had pleaded guilty in May to one count of distributing child pornography.
Ward, a former priest who was also involved in politics before his career as a liberal talk host, was fired from the station last December after his kiddie porn indictment.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, US District Judge Vaughn Walker noted that the former Roman Catholic priest “had an opportunity to think long, hard and deeply about the problems of child abuse” in the church. Why then, he asked, didn’t Ward seek treatment when he encountered his own predilection for child pornography?
Police said they found that Ward had exchanged photos of minors with a group of 10 people for about a year. His attorney said Ward originally set out to research a book on hypocrisy among Americans who preach morality, but that what started as a “journalistic endeavor” had “ended up in a dark place.”
The sentence of seven years, three months falls between the five year minimum under federal sentencing guidelines and the nine years that prosecutors had sought. Ward will serve his term at a minimum-security federal prison and could have his sentence reduced by one year for good behavior.