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Gavel and cuffs

ST. LOUIS • A former Roman Catholic seminarian at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to receive child pornography through the mail in a deal that will net him five years in federal prison.

Nickolas Eugene Pinkston, 41, of Warrensburg, was dismissed from seminary Jan. 10, 2010, when church officials learned he was involved in a relationship with an adult woman. He had been sponsored by the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

In March, he caught the attention of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service because of a mailing he'd received from an Ohio-based website that had both adult and child pornography, prosecutors said.

In a sting, postal inspectors then sent Pinkston an ad for a catalog that billed itself as the “”underground leader in TABOO and FORBIDDEN XXX videos!!” Pinkston ordered a catalog featuring young teen girls and pre-teen girls, prosecutors said, then ordered a DVD entitled “Children’s sex orgy.”

He was arrested on Oct. 14, 2010, after picking up the DVD from his local post office. Investigators later found nude pictures of young girls in his possession, prosecutors said.

At his sentencing, both Pinkston's lawyer and prosecutors will ask for a five-year prison term, prosecutors said.

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Pinkston began seminary in 2007 and served at Ascension, Our Lady of the Presentation and St. Ambrose parishes. He also taught confirmation classes for children.

At the time of Pinkston's indictment in July, the archdiocese said it was not aware of any inappropriate behavior by Pinkston.

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