FAIRBANKS - A former Fairbanks priest was arrested Friday on charges that he allegedly attempted to produce child pornography.
A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted 57-year-old Clint Landry on one count of attempted production of child pornography and one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Landry, who until May was the priest at Sacred Heart Cathedral, allegedly "coerced a minor into engaging in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of that conduct" on May 18 and May 19. The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks placed him on leave that week.
Charging documents don't specify the age of the victim or the specific actions Landry is accused of committing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon didn't immediately return a phone call Friday requesting additional information about the charges against Landry.
Ronnie Rosenberg, director of human resources and legal coordinator for the diocese, said the juvenile identified by initials in the indictment is not part of the Fairbanks church and is not a Fairbanks resident. Rosenberg said in May that diocese staff called Alaska State Troopers after receiving a report about misconduct by Landry. Troopers passed on the case to the FBI.
Landry is a longtime New Orleans schoolteacher who first came to Fairbanks in 2009 and was ordained in 2011, according to the diocese newsletter The Alaskan Shepherd. Landry was the parochial vicar who presided over services at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Fairbanks' largest Catholic congregation. About 1,000 people attend Sunday services at the church.
Landry was arraigned Friday afternoon. He appeared in a courtroom in Fairbanks and spoke by video conference with a judge and prosecutor in a courtroom at the federal building in Anchorage.
Landry, dressed in a navy button-up shirt and brown slacks, was subdued and spoke softly when entering "not guilty" pleas on both counts. Attorney Bill Satterberg represented Landry at his initial hearing but has not been formally retained as his counsel.
The court set a bail hearing for next Friday, but the prosecuting attorney said that Landry doesn't automatically qualify for bail under U.S. child pornography laws and that he will have to make the case that he's not at risk to flee or a risk to society.
A jury trial was set for late December, but Landry's attorney said that he would likely be asking for a postponement.
The sentencing range for the child pornography production charge is 15 to 30 yeas, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The enticement charge is punishable by a sentence of 10 years to life.
Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcrime. Staff writer Matt Buxton contributed to this report.