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Black Collar Crime: Baptist Pastor Nathan Legault Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Possession of Child Pornography

pastor nathan legault

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Nathan Legault, a Canadian Baptist pastor, pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and was sentenced to two years in prison.

The Northern View reports:

A Prince Rupert man who was a pastor has been given a conditional sentence of two years less a day followed by three years of probation for possessing child pornography.

Nathan Legault pleaded guilty to two charges in May 2022 — one for creating child pornography and one for possessing child pornography. He was sentenced by provincial court judge David Patterson in January, with the written decision only recently released.

The court learned that Legault began contacting minors he had met as a pastoral intern at baptist churches in Saskatchewan and Windsor, Ontario. Legault sent nude photos and videos of himself masturbating to two early teens — referred to as A.A.A. and B.B.B. in court documents — and their friends. He used fake social media accounts pretending to be a boy their age.

Legault also sent deepfake photos with A.A.A. and B.B.B.’s faces cropped onto nude images to the victims and their friends. A Windsor police investigation found that Legault had been sending the photos from Prince Rupert, where he was an associate pastor after moving to the area in 2018.

Crown and defence made a joint submission for the conditional sentence, which Patterson “reluctantly” accepted, fearing that the decision could “bring the administration of justice into disrepute and be contrary to the public interest.”

It took three sentencing hearings throughout 2023 during which the defence, then the Crown defended the sentencing recommendation to convince Patterson to accept it.

Patterson read a powerful victim impact statement from B.B.B., who detailed how Legault’s actions led her to consider suicide. B.B.B. also said Legault’s crimes led her to believe he would kidnap her.

“This has destroyed my physical and mental well-being. I am disgusted by the actions. I constantly ask myself, why me? This is something that can’t be erased and it will and has hurt me forever,” the young victim said.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar

    As a victim of a peophile, I usually skip these black collar pedophie essays. All pedoiphiles strike me as mentally ill. Not being a psychiatrist and having never met him I may be wrong about this one. Sexual attraction to children is repulsive but people so inclined seem to be otherwise capable of conforming to society. By that measure, perhaps mental illness is not why pedophiles molest. I read an authoritative analysis of adult attraction to children including when one is attracted to one’s own children, which can be very troubling. It explained in a credible way that such attraction may be totally innocent, involuntary, and the result of biology, hormones, conditioned responses etc. The conclusion being that such urges, while alarming, need not cause feelings of guilt or concern for one’s mental health. Feelings. being involuntary, are no cause for guilt or concern so long as not acted on. Since this pastor couldn’t control himself or chose not to, I would plead him not guilty by reason of insanity. He would then possibly serve time and then be locked up in psychiatric care till he was no threat to himself or others. That strikes me as potentially better for him and society than him serving some time and then being released to pursue the same inclinations.

    • Avatar
      George J DeVos

      Inmates have wives, girlfriends and children on the outside and feel helpless to protect them. In prison they find themselves locked in with molesters and rapists and they can take that frustration out on the offenders they despise.

  2. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    George–I’ve heard that in the inmate hierarchy, molesters and rapists are considered the lowest of the low.

    DutchGuy–I, too, am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse (from a priest and a family friend) and I agree. While a part of me would love to have seen my abusers (who are long dead) tortured by other prisoners, I also know that nothing would have been accomplished by it.

    What you say about treating a paedophile makes sense but also seems to contradict what some mental health professionals and researchers say: that child molesters and abusers aren’t reformable. I don’t know what to think, but it may well be true, as you suggest, that it’s more important for them to learn how to control their impulses. I am sure that for every one who has sexually exploited a child, there are many more who had a thought, however fleeting, of sexual or other “inappropriate” behavior with some kid. (I myself haven’t. Perhaps that has to do with being so exploited.)

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