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Former Waterford Priest Given Choice: Deal or Trial

Dennis Carey, the former head pastor of Waterford’s St. Paul’s Church, was told Monday that he can either take a deal offered by the state or face a trial.

Dennis Carey will have a choice on April 1st: take a deal or go to trial.

Monday, in a New London court appearance, Judge Susan B. Handy told the former head pastor of Waterford’s St. Paul’s Church that on April 1st, he can either take a deal offered by the state or face a trial. Handy told Carey to appear in court on that date to announce his decision, and if he chooses a trial, he will not be given the same deal again.

“Once it goes to the firm trial list, provided the state’s evidence does not change, I would not accept an offer that does involve more (prison time) than the offer that is presented,” Handy told Carey.

Carey was arrested in June on a charge of first-degree possession of child pornography after police found more than 300 files of child pornography on computers he owned inside St. Paul’s Church in Waterford. The exact deal Carey was offered was not made public Monday.

Carey is being represented by attorney Ron Stevens. The only reason Carey has until April 1 to make up his mind is because Stevens is going out of the country for a bit, Handy said.

If Carey pleads guilty, he will be sentenced approximately ten weeks later, Handy said. If he refuses the deal, the deal will be withdrawn and the state will begin to prepare for a trial, she said.

According to cga.ct.gov, first-degree child pornography is a class B felony and “any person found guilty under this section shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of which five years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court.”

According to court records, Carey admitted to police in June that he was addicted to child pornography and in his first court appearance in July he told the judge he needed help. Stevens has since confirmed that Carey has been dealing with the problem for "awhile."

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