June 6, 2006, 2:35 PM EDT
UTICA, N.Y. -- A defrocked priest with a history of sex crime allegations was sentenced Tuesday to five to 15 years in state prison for taking nude photos of underage boys.
James Tamburrino, 38, of Rome, N.Y., was found guilty by an Oneida County Court jury in March of using a child in a sexual performance, attempting to use a child in a sexual performance, possessing a sexual performance by a child and two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Tamburrino was accused of taking naked pictures of a 15-year-old boy in July and then approaching another 15-year-old boy to arrange a meeting to take erotic pictures of him.
Defense attorney Pal Lengyel-Leahu said Tamburrino believed one of the boys was older than 17 when he took naked photographs in a Rome motel last summer. Lengyel-Leahu said authorities tried to entrap Tamburrino, who arranged to meet the second boy only after police had the teen call the ex-priest.
Tamburrino was defrocked in 2001.
Judge Michael Dwyer sentenced Tamburrino to the maximum penalty on the most serious charge, using a child in a sexual performance. Tamburrino also got up to six years for attempting to use a child in a sexual performance and up to three years for possessing erotic pictures of minors. He will serve all three sentences at the same time.
Tamburrino left the St. Simon Stock in the Bronx in 2000 after he and three other Carmelite priests were accused of paying a 16-year-old boy who worked as a church secretary for sex between 1996 and 1998.
No criminal charges were filed, but the accusations were made in a civil lawsuit against the Bronx parish and the Carmelite order, based in the town of Wallkill. The parish and the order eventually reached a settlement with the boy's family.
In 2002, Tamburrino was charged with aggravated harassment and stalking, authorities said. He was accused of stalking a man he met in a New York City night club by making harassing phone calls and sending photos to the man, who was in his 30s.
After leaving the Bronx, Tamburrino worked as a chaplain at the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center but was removed in June 2001 amid allegations of sexual improprieties.