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Trial Date Set

Leesburg priest is charged with one count of child pornography possession.

Father Robert C. Brooks, who has been indicted on one felony count of child pornography possession, will face a jury on June 16 in the Loudoun County Circuit Court.

Brooks, 72, was pastor at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg until Oct. 5, 2004. He submitted his resignation after Loudoun County officials informed the Catholic Diocese of Arlington that they planned to charge Brooks on child pornography possession.

Brooks came under investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in September 2003 after he allegedly registered with a child pornography Web site.

Members of the church were not informed of the cause of Brooks's departure.

Brooks had been with the Diocese of Arlington since its inception in 1974.

In a statement, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde said the diocese is not aware of any sexual misconduct by Brooks, who was released on bond after being indicted on Feb. 8.

The statement also said that Brooks was removed from ministry "pending the outcome of the investigation."

Spokesman Soren Johnson said it was "premature" to assess whether Brooks might return to ministry if he is acquitted of the charge.

A phone call to St. John the Apostle was not returned.

Loverde released another statement to the parishioners on the situation.

"This is obviously a very difficult time for all of us," he wrote. He asked that parishioners come forward with any information and also "be vigilant about your own use of the Internet ... the Internet, which can be such a wonderful resource, can also be misused in ways that harm all of us."

The Diocese of Arlington has had a written Child Protection Policy since 1991.

Father Robert C. Brooks' C.V.

St. John the Apostle, Leesburg, 1991-2004

St. James, Falls Church, 1980-1990

St. Ambrose, Annandale, 1973-1980

St. Mark's, Vienna, 1972

St. John, Highland Springs (Diocese of Richmond), 1971

St. Philip, Falls Church, 1968-1971

St. Louis, Alexandria, 1961-1968