OURAY – Former Ouray minister and city councilor, Dick Craft, 69. Craft pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography last week, in Greeley, Colo., and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Craft and his family lived in Ouray for 10 years, from 1988 to 1998. He was for a brief time interim minister at the First Presbyterian Church of Ouray, and for many years the proprietor of a Main Street shop, Just Us, a fair-trade business dealing in Third World handicrafts.
According to court documents, in 2007 an undercover FBI agent in Philadelphia connected to an online file-sharing program and found several child-pornography files being shared from Craft’s home computer in Thornton, Colo. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Program. Craft was initially charged with “possessing, receiving and distributing” child pornography.
At an August 2012 hearing, an apparently baffled and contrite Craft told U.S. District Judge Brooke Jackson that he was unable to stay away from the illegal images.
Prosecuting U.S. Attorney John Walsh commented last week that Craft “told Judge Jackson...sexual predators view children as objects of gratification, not human beings to nurture.
“The lengthy sentence is a result of the defendant’s compulsive viewing of child pornography,” he added.
Craft lived in Montrose from 1998 to 2006, where he was Executive Presbyter for the southwest (Colo.) region of the Presbyterian Church. He had lived in Thornton, a north Denver suburb, since 2006, where he was a former interim pastor at Family of Christ Presbyterian Church.
“The FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Program will continue to aggressively investigate cases that involve possession of child pornography in order to protect our children from predators on the streets and online,” said FBI Denver Acting Special Agent in Charge, Steven Olson.