Father Mark J. Haynes, 55, an archdiocesan priest and parochial vicar at SS. Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester, was arrested late Wednesday evening, Oct. 22, by Chester County police and charged with six counts of possessing and disseminating child pornography.
The Rev. Mark Haynes, who was parochial vicar at SS. Simon and Jude Parish in Westtown Township from Sept. 3, 2013, until his arrest Thursday, served at St. Pius X Parish in Marple from 2001 to 2005, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Morton postal section of Ridley Township from 2005 to 2009 and at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Havertown section of Haverford from 2009 to 2013.
He was immediately placed on administrative leave Thursday and no longer resides at SS. Simon and Jude Parish, said Kenneth Gavin, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Haynes was arraigned Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Thomas Tartaglio and charged with two counts each of dissemination of child pornography, possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communications device. Haynes was committed Thursday to Chester County Prison for failing to post 10 percent of $200,000 bail.
The following is a portion of a statement released by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia after his arrest:
“These charges are serious and disturbing. The Archdiocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement regarding this matter and remains fervently committed to preventing child abuse as well as protecting the children and young people entrusted to its care. Child pornography is a scourge that must be eradicated. There were no prior indications that Father Haynes was involved in activity of this nature. Additionally, no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have ever been lodged against him. Father Haynes was immediately placed on administrative leave following his arrest and is no longer residing at Saints Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester, where he was assigned. Priests on administrative leave are not permitted to exercise their public ministry, administer any of the Sacraments, or present themselves publicly as priests.”
Anybody with information should call Chester County Detective Joseph Walton at (610) 344-4625.