DETROIT -

An inactive Roman Catholic priest in the Detroit area has been sentenced to nearly 16 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography.

Federal Judge Victoria Roberts says the public needs to be protected from Timothy Murray, although the punishment Thursday was below the 22-year sentence sought by prosecutors.

According to court records, Murray used peer-to-peer software to trade child pornography with others, including an undercover DHS Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent.

A search warrant executed at Murray’s home in 2012 recovered at least seven different computer devices containing videos and images of child pornography.

Murray’s collection included over 650 movies and over 450 images of child pornography.

He was removed from a Livonia parish in 2004 after authorities learned that he had molested an altar boy in the 1980s. Murray was never charged because the statute of limitations had expired.

Murray has no duties as a priest, but he's never been formally removed from the priesthood. Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron says he's taking that step. The Detroit Archdiocese has been paying Murray's health insurance.