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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor John Scheline Charged With Attempted Rape

John Scheline

John Scheline, executive director of Ignite Youth Mentoring in Richland, Washington and former pastor at  Faith Assembly in Pasco, Washington and  Bozeman Christian Center in Bozeman, Montana, was charged today with attempted second degree rape.

The Tri-City Herald reports:

All 26 men swept up in a five-day Tri-City operation to combat online child predators have now been charged, with five more appearing Wednesday in court.

William J. Barrett and Andrew L. Sanders both face Sept. 5 trials in Benton County Superior Court, while John M. Scheline, Darren J. Kerbyson and Gabriel Saenz have Oct. 2 dates.

Four of them are charged with attempted second-degree rape of a child and have been released from jail after posting $10,000 bond each.

Barrett is locked up on $25,000 bail because he has additional charges, including bringing methamphetamine and a glass smoking device to the meet-up.

They were arrested as part of a multi-agency effort, dubbed “Tri-Cities Net Nanny Operation,” between July 5 and 9.

Undercover detectives answered postings on various websites and placed their own ads claiming to be kids as young as 11 or parents who were offering their children for sex. Some of the suspects showed up to the predetermined location with condoms and sex toys.

The first three men arrested when authorities were still setting up the operation had Tuesday court hearings. The remaining 18 men are scheduled to appear Thursday.

Scheline, 40, was fired from his job as executive director of Ignite Youth Mentoring after the allegations surfaced. The Pasco father previously served as a pastor at Faith Assembly in Pasco and lead pastor of Bozeman Christian Center in Montana.

Investigators found an advertisement Scheline placed June 13 on Craigslist suggesting that a married dad was looking for a young boy, court documents said.

When a detective responded July 5 as a father offering up his 13-year-old son for sex acts, Scheline allegedly discussed in explicit detail what he would do with the boy.

Scheline eventually was given the address of an apartment. When “the (undercover) son” answered the door, Scheline turned and left and was taken into custody as he tried to get out of the complex, documents said.



  1. Avatar
    Elizabeth G

    This man was the youth pastor at my church. After 3 years of attending the church, another “highly looked upon” elder of the church (also a trusted neighbor and friend) named, Joe Ortega, was charged with several counts of child rape after he recorded himself having sex with his young grandchild. My husband and myself were deeply affected by this and we developed trust issues with members of the church (Faith Assembly). I spoke with Pastor John Scheline about this and his reply chilled me to my bones, he stated, “Joe is a good man and he cannot help himself for the path of evil in which he fell victim too. God loves us all and this was his plan of salvation. We put our trust in God and we must trust what he has planned for us.” Our family left the church a few months later. In hind sight, I always felt uneasy around Pastor John. He was sly and yet tried to act like a big teddy bear of a man. He was always in the bathroom at church and stated that he had crohns disease. He also spent a lot of time in his office, which was located at the top of the stairs and his door would be closed while he spoke with young boys. I wish I had listened to that inner voice that screamed “Don’t trust this man. Report him.” I didn’t and I will forever hate myself for it.

  2. Avatar
    Jasper Cummingsley

    Don’t hate yourself, Elizabeth G. All of us have at times felt an uneasiness about a situation and didn’t always feel strong about acting, particularly when the culture is ambivalent towards those who sense concerns.

    This predator may have at one time not been fully corrupted, but time and escalation of choice in a culture lacking accountability can lead one down this dark path.

    Jesus minced no words when he said it would be better to throw a millstone around one’s neck and be thrown in the sea than to face him for hurting his little ones (whether that refers to children literally or to members of a church entirely is up for debate but changes nothing regarding accountability for these rainless clouds to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever).

  3. Avatar
    Pam H

    I always wondered the same thing. I too attend the same church and was deeply affected by the first child molestation scandle of a church member. And now another trusted member with authority is charged with the same crime. The church got to big and to rich to remember what they’re real goals were. After several years of the pastor never knowing my name, I left. His motorcycle was his priority, not his flock. It’s all about the money.

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Bruce Gerencser