A federal judge decreed a prison term of more than seven years Thursday for Bernie Ward, whose 15-year career as a leading liberal voice on Bay Area talk radio disintegrated when he admitted downloading graphic images of child sex and distributing them on the Internet.
Ward’s case is a “personal tragedy,” and a prison term may not be the best way to help him or the children exploited by pornography, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said as he imposed the sentence in a San Francisco courtroom. But he noted that federal law requires at least a five-year sentence, and said some aspects of the case were disturbing.
Walker said Ward, a former Roman Catholic priest whose KGO broadcasts included the Sunday morning “God Talk” program, “had an opportunity to think long, hard and deeply about the problems of child abuse” in the Catholic Church. Why, the judge asked, “when he encountered his own predilection (for child pornography), didn’t he seek treatment, seek help?”
I like to Bring um young