A Catholic priest from Kalispell, Montana has been accused of possessing child porn, but the whole story starts with a Nintendo DS. Police began the investigation into the 67-year-old Catholic priest name d Rudolph “Rudy” Carl Bullman after a woman who bought a Nintendo DS from him called police. She told them in October of 2011 that she found sexually explicit pictures of young boys on the Nintendo hand-held he sold her.
On Dec. 16, 2011 a detective with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Bullman, who admitted that he was using the DS to view gay porn but said he only frequented websites that clearly stated that the subjects of photos were over the age of 18. Bullman also admitted to viewing porn on his computer, and agreed to let the detective search the machine.
The search revealed images of young males between the ages of 12 and 18, nude or engaged in sexual acts. A closer analysis of the computer by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations uncovered 23 images of child pornography stored in the Internet cache files and an additional 23 images from a file containing deleted JPG images. Detective Jeanne Parker determined that the photographs depicted children under the age of 16 in a sexually explicit nature.
Renee St. Martin Wizeman, a spokeswoman for the diocese, says that Bullman was put on leave as soon as the church was made aware of the allegations.
"We were made aware of an investigation by the Flathead County Attorney’s Office and at that time he was placed on administrative leave, which is what our policies and procedures call for," diocese spokeswoman Renee St. Martin Wizeman said. "We have cooperated fully with the investigation. We will see what happens going forward, but it is important to emphasize that we do have policies in place specifically for these matters."
St. Martin Wizeman went on to say that Bullman was asked to vacate his parish residence and has been living in a "non-ministerial setting" off parish grounds. He has had no involvement in the ministry since the allegations and is receiving counseling provided by the diocese.
According to court documents filed Feb. 29 by Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan, the priest of the Risen Christ Parish in Kalispell has been charged with felony sexual abuse of children. He could face up to ten years in prison and a fine of $10,000 if convicted of the charge. He is scheduled to enter a plea on the charge at a March 29 arraignment hearing in Flathead County District Court.