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Category: Black Collar Crime

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest James Beighlie Sentenced to Five Years in Prison on Child Pornography Charges

James T Beighlie

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.

James T Beighlie, a retired Catholic priest in Missouri, was sentenced to five years in prison on child pornography charges.

WSGW reports:

A retired priest has been sentenced to five years in prison after it was discovered he had made slideshow presentations containing thousands of images of child pornography. The 72-year-old’s arsenal of abusive material was discovered after he left nude images of himself on a church printer, officials said. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Missouri said on Tuesday that Vincentian priest James T. Beighlie of St. Louis, Missouri, had 6,000 pictures containing child sexual abuse material on a computer, including child pornography and images of child erotica. 

“Beighlie created two PowerPoint presentations with graphic titles that linked to thousands of the images, and often visited and edited the presentations over a period of years,” the office said, adding that he had a second computer with an additional 236 images and 40 videos of similar content. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Lang said during court that the now-retired priest revised his slideshow presentations more than 200 times. 

“This criminal conduct was part of his daily life,” Lang said.

Beighlie had been looking at child sex abuse material since at least 2008, Lang said, but it wasn’t until 2021 that it was found out. In May of that year when he was working as an associate pastor at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in St. Louis as part of the Congregation of the Mission, some of his colleagues found “compromising images” of him on a church printer. 

That finding launched an investigation within the church. A private IT support company soon found videos of what appeared to be “minors engaging in sex acts,” the attorney’s office said. During that time, he was removed from his position, according to the Congregation of the Western Province and “placed in a monitored environment.” 

The church’s attorney contacted the FBI, which then began its own investigation.

The priest pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography in October. On Tuesday, he was sentenced to five years and ordered to pay nearly $25,000. A portion of that money, $4,750, will go to one of the victims who was portrayed in the child pornography, the office said, while the remaining $22,000 will go toward other victims of crimes involving children. 

In a letter to the presiding judge, one of the victims seen in the child pornography spoke out about the abuse. 

“It’s depressing and sickening to know that people were looking at images and videos of my online sexual abuse when I was a little girl and that they were getting pleasure from it – my abuse,” they said. 

Prior to serving at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Beighlie was on the faculty at St. Thomas Aquinas/Mercy High School and Vincent Gray Academy, both in St. Louis, and had also spent time as an associate pastor at Our Lady Queen of Peace parish in House Springs, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. 

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Church Worker Joseph Abbott Accused of Sexual Misconduct with a Fourteen-Year-Old Girl

joseph abbott

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.

Joseph Abbot, a worker for First Apostolic Church and the Apostolic Christian Academy in Maryville, Tennessee, stands accused of sexual misconduct with a fourteen-year-old grill.

The Daily Times reports:

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office served a warrant on a North Carolina man Monday, Jan. 9, charging him with sexual battery by an authority figure. Joseph Kade Abbott, 26, was arrested in North Carolina after a BCSO investigation into allegations that he committed sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl. He was transported to the Blount County Correctional Facility, where he is being held in lieu of a $200,000 bond pending a 9 a.m. Jan. 18 hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court.

A $4.5 million lawsuit has been filed against Abbott, First Apostolic Church, and Apostolic Christian Academy, alleging that the church and school “exhibited an extreme degree of negligence” [when supervising staff and students, which endangered children there.]

Channel 10 reports:

A man who was arrested in North Carolina and taken to Blount County after being served with a warrant for sexual battery by an authority figure was sued for a total of $4.5 million, alongside the Maryville church the lawsuit says he worked for.

The lawsuit says Joseph Kade Abbott, 26, worked for the First Apostolic Church of Maryville when he sexually assaulted a minor on multiple occasions. The lawsuit said that the assaults happened in 2022. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office said they started investigating Abbott in June 2022 before arresting him in January 2023.

According to BCSO, he was accused of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl.

The lawsuit claims that the First Apostolic Church of Maryville and the Apostolic Christian Academy “exhibited an extreme degree of negligence” when supervising staff and students, which endangered children there.

It asks the church and Abbott to pay the minor a total of $3 million and asks them to pay the parents a total of $1.5 million. The parents also demanded a jury for the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in August 2022. An attorney for First Apostolic Church released a statement about the lawsuit. It is below.

“Joseph Abbott is no longer employed by Apostolic Christian Academy. We cannot comment on matters involving pending litigation. Our prayers are with everyone involved.”

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Rafael Cuevas Sentenced to Twenty Years in Prison for Rape

Pastor Rafael Cuevas

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.

Rafael Cuevas, pastor of Casa De Oracion Y Adoracion, Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida was arrested in 2021 and charged with two counts of sexual battery and six counts of lewd and lascivious molestation against a victim under 12 years old.

The First Coast News reported at the time:

A Jacksonville pastor has been arrested on multiple counts of sexual misconduct.

Rafael Cuevas, 53, was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of sexual battery and six counts of lewd and lascivious molestation against a victim under 12 years old.

According to the arrest report, authorities received reports that Cuevas had been molesting a child for four years with the last incident being in June 2020 and the first being in 2017.

Investigators found that the victim was under 12-years-old during the four years of the alleged abuse. The child told detectives that Cuevas would molest her four to five times a week, the arrest report says.

The child also told authorities that the molestation occurred in multiple locations including the church where Cuevas was a pastor and inside of his truck, the arrest report says. 

During the investigation, a second child spoke with detectives and reported that Cuevas also molested her on multiple occasions.

Investigators attempted to speak with Cuevas but he declined to be interviewed.

Cuevas is currently being held in jail with no bond.

Yesterday, Cuevas pleaded guilty and was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

First Coast News reports:

Rafael Cuevas will serve 20 years in Florida state prison and have to serve 10 years of probation after his release.

This was part of a negotiated plea deal, meaning the other charges against him will be dropped. He will also be designated as a sexual predator by the state.

According to the arrest report, authorities received reports that Cuevas had been molesting a child for four years with the last incident being in June 2020 and the first being in 2017.

Investigators found that the victim was under 12-years-old during the four years of the alleged abuse. The child told detectives that Cuevas would molest her four to five times a week, the arrest report says.

The child also told authorities that the molestation occurred in multiple locations including the church where Cuevas was a pastor and inside of his truck, the arrest report says. 

During the investigation, a second child spoke with detectives and reported that Cuevas also molested her on multiple occasions.

For some unknown reason, none of the reporting news agencies named the church Cuevas pastored. An Internet sleuth by the name of Marshall Yancey tracked down the church’s name:

cuevas church

Shame on news agencies and law enforcement for not making the church’s name known. The public, along with past/present church members, deserves to know that they have a predator in their midst. Based on the church’s state filing, it looks like the church was likely a small church or house church. Just remember, ANYONE can start a church.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: IFB School Teacher Randy Boston Sentenced to Decades in Prison for Sexually Abusing a First-Grader

randy boston

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.

Randy Boston, a former teacher at West Chester Christian School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, was recently sentenced to twenty to forty years in prison for sexually molesting a first-grader in 2007-2008. West Chester Christian is a ministry of Bible Baptist Church — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) congregation pastored by Dan Brabson. According to Boston’s LinkedIn page, he was a youth director at Bible Baptist and a junior high teacher at Immanuel Christian School in Hazelton, Pennsylvania for years. I was unable to independently verify these claims.

randy boston work history

Patch.com reports:

A former teacher at West Chester Christian School was sentenced by Chester County Judge Patrick Carmody to 20 to 40 years in state prison for sexually assaulting a first-grader in 2007 to 2008.

Randy Boston, 65, of Shickshinny, was convicted by a jury in August of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, and related charges by a jury in August 2022.

West Chester Christian School is a small, private K-12 religious school.

“Randy Boston used his position of power and trust to abuse this child for his own depraved sexual gratification,” District Attorney Deb Ryan said. “He preyed upon an innocent and defenseless child, and as a result, deprived this victim of a normal childhood.”

….

Boston’s lawyer, Evan Kelly of West Chester, argued during the trial that the victim’s testimony was inconsistent.

My ChesCo added:

According to statements made in open court, in June 2021, West Goshen Township Police received information that a 21-year-old victim was sexually abused by the defendant when the victim was in the 1st grade at West Chester Christian School on Paoli Pike. The defendant was a teacher at the school from 1979 to 2008.

Investigators learned that the defendant ordered the victim to follow him to the basement before school one morning after witnessing the victim stick his tongue out at another student. The defendant took the victim to a room, where he shut the door and told him to remove his belt and pull his pants down. The defendant performed oral sex on the victim before telling the victim to perform oral sex on him.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Update: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Sean Masopust Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail for Sexually Abusing Church Teen

Sean Masopust

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.

In February 2022, Sean Masopust, a youth pastor for Northridge Church in Owatonna, Minnesota, was accused of sexually abusing a church teenager. Astoundingly, the church “investigated” the accusation before reporting it to the police, sending Masopust to Kansas to “take some time off.” According to the victim’s mom, the church never told her about the incidents between Masopust and her child. Way to go, Northridge! Masopust is married to the daughter of the church’s pastor, Mark Perryman. Need I say more?

Bring Me The News reported at the time:

A now-former youth pastor at an Owatonna church is accused of sending nude photos and sexually abusing a member of his youth group when she was 17. 

Sean Patrick Masopust, 32, of Owatonna, is charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection to the incidents that occurred in 2018. 

The “inappropriate relationship” between Masopust, who was the youth pastor at Northridge Church in Owatonna, and the then-17-year-old girl was reported to police on Dec. 23, 2021, the Owatonna Police Department said

A member of the church’s regional counsel reported the incident to police after the church did its own investigation, which led to the church firing Masopust, the criminal complaint states. 

According to the criminal complaint, a member of the church’s regional counsel told police last December that Masopust had a texting and inappropriate relationship with the 17-year-old girl in 2018. 

The regional counsel member told police Masopust admitted to sending pictures of him in his underwear to the victim, and he has since been fired, charges state.

The victim was a member of Masopust’s and his wife’s youth group and she worked at the church’s daycare with Masopust’s mother-in-law, the complaint says. 

She told police from about June-October 2018, Masopust sent her inappropriate texts and Instagram messages, including nude photos and video of him masturbating. He also kissed her and touched her inappropriately on a few occasions, including at the church and at Masopust’s home after his wife hired her to babysit their children.

Masopust sent a message to the victim in October 2018 stating they couldn’t talk anymore because his wife had found the text messages, noting the church’s pastor had sent him to Kansas to “take some time off,” the charges said. The victim’s mom told police the church never told her about the incidents between Masopust and her child.

Masopust also texted the victim on her 18th birthday, welcoming her to adulthood and apologizing “for everything that happened.” He asked for her forgiveness, adding he almost lost his wife and family and he’s ashamed of what he did. 

“I’m always here and you are a big part of my wife and girls lives so I hope we can remain friends,” the text message said, according to the complaint. 

The victim told police said she looked up to Masopust for a long time, noting he was her pastor in elementary school, and it felt weird to tell him no, so she just let it happen, the complaint says.

The victim said she was active in the church until her high school graduation and became active again around November 2020 when she moved back to Owatonna. Around that time, Masopust’s wife asked her to be an adult youth leader. 

Masopust’s wife called the victim on Oct. 19, 2021, asking her to come to the church. She said she met with two men from the Minnesota Assemblies of God and shared her story. 

The Minnesota Assemblies of God (Northridge Church is part of the Assemblies of God) shared its finding of fact with police on Jan. 24, with the documents noting Masopust had sent pictures to the victim and admitted to a “flirtatious” text message thread, as well as having “hand contact” with her with the intent of having sex with her, the complaint states. 

The Roys Report’s extensive coverage of this story adds:

Sean Masopust was fired this past fall, former board member Pat McCauley and other former church members say, and he’s no longer listed on the church website.

Calls to Northridge seeking information about Masopust and his employment status were not returned.

Masopust’s wife, youth pastor Felicia Masopust, was also accused of sexual abuse in a letter sent this month by the parents of a youth group member. In the letter, which was obtained by The Roys Report, the parents state their son received a sexually explicit text from Felicia in 2019.

Kayla Mollenhauer and other former youth group members say Felicia Masopust also failed to take concerns seriously when girls told her certain men in the church made them uncomfortable. They also accuse her of manipulating them and creating a cult-like atmosphere in which they were expected to tell her everything about their private lives.

Former church members including McCauley and his daughter-in-law, Shelley McCauley, say Felicia Masopust resigned from the church in January. However, the church hasn’t made any announcement regarding Felicia Masopust’s employment, and she remains listed on the church’s website.

The Roys Report reached out to Northridge Church for clarification about Felicia Masopust’s employment, but received no response.

The Roys Report also contacted the Minnesota District of the Assemblies of God to ask about Northridge and Sean and Felicia Masopust. Mark Dean, the district superintendent, said “the accusations have been investigated.”

“We have forwarded our findings to the Owatonna Police, as well as to the General Council of the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Mo.,” Dean wrote in an email. “We have no additional comment to make.”

The McCauleys and Amber Will, a former adult leader in the youth group, allege Perryman failed to notify church board members or to investigate fully when he first learned in 2018 that his son-in-law was accused of flirtatiously texting with the teen.

When Sean Masopust left the church staff, the church was told only that Masopust had committed “conduct unbecoming of a pastor,” said Shelley McCauley, another former youth group volunteer.

“The congregation has no idea why Sean was fired, why Felicia resigned,” she added.

Now the McCauleys, Will, and others, including the young woman who says she was assaulted, say they’ve been ostracized by the church.

In October 2022, Masopust pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 16 and 17 who he had a position of authority over. Astoundingly, Masopust was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 10 years probation. He must have received the preacher’s discount.

Owatonna.com reports:

The former youth pastor of Northridge Church in Owatonna has been sentenced to minimal jail time and a decade of probation after pleading guilty to grooming and molesting a teenager who had been in his youth group.

Sean Patrick Masopust, 33, was sentenced Thursday morning in Steele County District Court to 30 days jail, with credit for two days already served, and 10 years supervised probation, for a felony conviction of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 16 and 17 who he had a position of authority over. Masopust pleaded guilty to the charge on Oct. 6.

….

Terms of Masopust’s probation include attending and completing a sex offender treatment program, no unsupervised contact with persons under the age of 18 (with the exception of his own biological children in cooperation with Child Protective Services), no access to or use of internet without approval, no possession of any device that allows for internet capabilities or access to the internet without internet monitoring software, and he must register as a predatory offender.

….

According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 23, 2021, a member of the regional counsel of Northridge Church reported to Owatonna police an “inappropriate relationship” that took place between Masopust and a 17-year-old female in 2018. The reporting party allegedly told police the church had first heard the “relationship” was through texting, but after some digging found that “inappropriate things” were occurring. Masopust reportedly admitted to the counsel to some of the conduct and has since been fired from the church. The reporting party said the victim was a part of Masopust’s youth group at the time of the “relationship.”

The victim and her mother met with police on Christmas Eve. The mother told police the church “never told her” about what happened with Masopust and her daughter, according to court documents.

The victim reportedly told police she began working at Sunshine Tree Daycare, located in the church basement, in 2018, while Masopust was the associate youth pastor at the time, and she was a student youth leader under his and his wife’s direction. In June 2018, the victim said the first incident happened when Masopust allegedly sent her a private message and asked what kind of underwear she was wearing.

In August 2018, the victim said Masopust reportedly pulled her from the daycare while she was working and brought her to a back hallway/storage area and began aggressively kissing her and touching her body.

On more than one occasion, the victim said Masopust allegedly sent her photographs and videos of him in his underwear, of his genitals, and of himself masturbating. At one point, Masopust sent her a message complaining about her not sending a nude photo back, and she then complied, according to court records.

The victim said she would be asked to babysit Masopust’s children, and on one occasion, he allegedly brought her to the basement and tried to gain access to her genitals and breasts but stopped when she was clearly uncomfortable.

The victim said the last incident took place in October 2018 at Northridge Church when Masopust tried to grab and hug her in his closed office, according to the report. The victim said everything stopped later that month when Masopust reportedly sent her a message saying his wife “found the messages and got upset.”

The victim said she remained active in the church until she graduated from high school but returned in 2020. According to court records, the victim said she became active in the church again and was eventually asked by Masopust’s wife to become an adult youth leader. The victim said, on Oct. 19, 2021, Masopust’s wife asked her to come to the church, where the victim said two men from the Minnesota Assemblies of God met with her and she provided her story.

According to Owatonna police, the church fired Masopust in October 2021.

On Feb. 3, Tammy Perryman, mother-in-law of Masopust and wife of the church lead pastor, resigned from her position as director of the Sunshine Tree Daycare, which is located in the basement of the church. Lead Pastor Mark Perryman, Masopust’s father-in-law, voluntarily resigned from his position on Feb. 6. Felicia Masopust, the daughter of the Perryman’s and wife of Masopust, also resigned from her position as a youth pastor.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Robert Kasler Charged with Engaging in Prostitution

pastor robert kasler

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.

Robert “Rob” Kasler, pastor of Manchester Christian Church in Akron, Ohio, stands accused of engaging in prostitution and possession of criminal tools.

WKYC reports:

Seventeen men in Northeast Ohio were arrested and charged as the result of a human trafficking investigation that took place on Dec. 8.

An online ad offering sexual favors for money led the men to a Microtel Inn & Suites hotel in Canton, the center of an undercover operation. 

Sixteen of the men were arrested and charged with Engaging in Prostitution (M-1) and Possession of Criminal Tools (M-1):

….

Robert L. Kasler, age 50, Massillon, OH

….

Reports indicate one of the men, Robert Kasler, is a pastor at Manchester Christian Church in New Franklin. He’s listed as the church’s senior pastor. He declined to speak to 3News Investigator Marisa Saenz at the church. 

Manchester Christian describes itself as:

a non-denominational church. This means we are a church that is self-governing  (independent) and not affiliated with any larger denomination or organization. We are accountable to God only, and adhere to the teachings of Christ and the Bible as the sole standard of faith and practice. All decisions and authority are derived from Holy Scripture and overseen by the Elders of the church. (1Tim. 3:1-8)

Independent Christian Churches, like MCC, have their founding in the Restoration Movement. Our worship emphasizes gathering, singing praise with music, baptism, offering communion weekly, biblical teaching, and prayer.

Kasler has been scrubbed from the church’s website.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Update: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Nashimen McKinnon Convicted of Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child

nashimen mckinnon

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.

In 2018, Nashimen McKinnon, youth pastor at Antioch Bible Fellowship in Fayetteville, North Carolina,  was accused of taking indecent liberties with a child.

The News & Observer reported at the time:

A Cumberland County youth pastor is accused of taking indecent liberties with a child during a sleepover he hosted at his Hope Mills home.

Nashimen McKinnon, 30, of Pleasantburg Drive is charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a child, according to arrest records. McKinnon told deputies he is a youth leader at Antioch Bible Fellowship.

McKinnon called the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 1 and told a deputy that he “touched a child five to six months ago,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. McKinnon said he lay beside a girl on the floor during a sleepover for church youth last July and inappropriately touched her over her clothes.

An investigation following McKinnon’s admission found that he inappropriately touched the same girl on at least two other occasions at church-related events. Deputies said McKinnon also said he sent the girl inappropriate text messages as recently as December.

ABC-11 adds:

The sheriff’s office said McKinnon contacted deputies on January 1 and asked for a deputy to come to his home because he had “touched a child five to six months ago at a sleepover.”

Deputies went to McKinnon’s home on Pleasantburg Drive in Hope Mills and completed a report and then took him for an interview at the Law Enforcement Center.

Deputies said McKinnon told them that at the sleepover, he lay next on the floor next to a minor and touched her breasts and buttocks on top of her clothing. McKinnon said he did not know whether the victim was aware of his actions. McKinnon also stated that he sent the victim inappropriate text messages in December 2017.

The sheriff’s office said the investigation revealed at least two other instances, at church-related events, where McKinnon is suspected of inappropriately touching the victim.

According to the North Carolina Offender Registry, McKinnon was convicted on April 11, 2018, and given probation. He is a registered sex offender. Why McKinnon received probation is unknown.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Update: Black Collar Crime: Anglican Priest Graeme Lawrence Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Raping Teen Boy

graeme lawrence

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.

In November 2017, Graeme Lawrence, the defrocked Anglican Dean of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

The Newcastle Herald reported:

Graeme Lawrence was the charismatic 13th Anglican Dean of Newcastle who supported the Hunter through the 1989 earthquake, the 2005 Bali bombing and the 2007 floods, and was honoured for his work by a grateful community.

He declined to comment on Tuesday after police charged him with sexually assaulting a teenage boy, 15, in the early 1990s, following a referral in 2016 from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

It marked another point in a fall from grace for the former Anglican priest that has included the public airing of sexual abuse allegations at a Newcastle Anglican disciplinary hearing in 2010, a failed Supreme Court appeal against its findings in 2011, his defrocking in 2012 and denial of child sex allegations during questioning at a royal commission public hearing in Newcastle in 2016.

Mr Lawrence, 75, was arrested at a Kotara home by Newcastle City Local Area Command Strike Force Arinya police at 8.30am on Tuesday and charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault.

In a statement NSW Police said the charges related to “alleged sexual assaults upon a 15-year-old boy in the Hunter region during 1991”.

….

A royal commission public hearing in Newcastle in August, 2016 was told Dean Lawrence was a powerful and influential churchman. During evidence to the commission Mr Lawrence denied sexually abusing a teenage boy at a church youth camp in the 1990s.

He became the 13th Anglican Dean of Newcastle after moving from Griffith to Newcastle in 1984.

In 2019, Lawrence was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old church boy and sentenced to a maximum of eight years in prison.

ABC News reported at the time:

Graeme Lawrence, the former Anglican Dean of Newcastle, has been sentenced to a maximum of eight years jail over the rape of a 15-year-old boy at his deanery in 1991.

The 77-year-old was in July found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault.

Lawrence was the Anglican Dean of Newcastle in 1991 when he lured his victim to his private accommodation next door to Newcastle’s Christ Church Cathedral after a youth band concert.

The court heard how Lawrence led then 15-year-old Ben Giggins into a small room and showed him pictures of naked boys before forcing him to the ground and raping him.

“He pulled the shirt over his head forcing him to hands and knees,” District Court Judge Tim Gartelmann said during today’s sentencing remarks.

“The victim was so scared he was shaking at this time.

“The offender must have known the victim did not consent but persisted regardless.”

Judge Gartlemann said Mr Giggins had repeatedly asked him to stop.

The court heard Lawrence had taken steps to silence his victim, warningMr Giggins — who eventually broke free and ran away — not to tell anyone what happened.

The judge said Lawrence had yelled after his fleeing victim: “Don’t go telling anybody, you’re just a boy and I’m the Dean. No one will believe you.”

He said the former dean had shown no remorse for his crimes, before he handed down a non-parole period of four years and six-months.

In an earlier victim impact statement that Mr Giggins read out to the court during sentencing submissions, the 43-year-old husband and father said the incident had scarred him for life.

He said he kept the rape a secret for decades and the trauma and regular depressive bouts he experienced put immense strain on his family.

Anglican.Ink added:

Graeme Lawrence is Australia’s most senior (former) Anglican clergyman to be locked up for child sex offences.

The unmarried and likeable Lawrence was the Anglican Dean of Newcastle for 25 years. He ruled over Christ Church Cathedral. Every bishop that came to Newcastle knew that Lawrence was not to be crossed. He was the real master conductor of the Diocese. In fact, one bishop who refused to conform told the Royal Commission, “I am the bishop who is not welcome in his own cathedral”.

Lawrence was well-connected within the church, with lawyers and with business people. He had lots of friends at the Newcastle Club, an old private club adjacent to the Cathedral where Lawrence was a regular and an Honorary Member.

But his ‘good old days’ are over.

Graeme Lawrence, aged 77 years, is now defrocked and a convicted paedophile. He’s been sentenced to eight years in prison. He’ll serve at least four and a half years behind bars before having any hope of parole.

He was one of many unsavoury characters who lurked within Newcastle’s Anglican Church for decades.

He retired in 2008. Less than two years later, the first allegations started to surface about his role in enabling the cover-up of his paedophile friend, Father Peter Rushton.

Rushton was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of boys throughout his forty-year career as an Anglican priest.

Bishop Brian Farran spoke up in 2010 and alleged Rushton had molested boys who served during church services or he “arranged to make it happen”.

One of Rushton’s victims, Mr. Paul Gray, recounted in horrifying detail how the priest abused him repeatedly between the ages of 10 and 14.

Rushton allegedly cut Gray’s back with a knife and smeared his blood to “symbolise the blood of Christ”.

The demonically-charged Rushton died in 2007 without ever being convicted.

Lawrence had for years conspired to keep Rushton out of trouble, enabling him to continue inflicting trauma to hundreds of boys in the Church.

Lawrence was one of a “gang of three” including Reverend Bruce Hoare and former Diocesan Registrar Mr. Peter Mitchell who are all believed to have covered up Rushton’s crimes. Mitchell, who was once the Diocesan Treasurer, went to jail in 2002 for defrauding the Church of nearly $200,000.

Some have alleged Lawrence was part of a series of networks actively supporting Anglican child sex offenders around Australia for decades.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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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Update: Black Collar Crime: Catholic Church Volunteer Jeffrey Eisenbath Sentenced to 184 Months in Prison on Child Porn Charges

jeffrey eisenbath

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.

In 2018, Jeffrey Eisenbath, a volunteer children’s religious education teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Troy, Missouri, was charged with felony invasion of privacy and possession of child pornography.

Jared Gilmour, a reporter for the Idaho Statesman, wrote:

Detectives were called to a laser tag and bumper car complex in St. Charles, Mo., last week after the business made an disturbing discovery: Hidden in the Adrenaline Zone bathroom was a secret camera, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

When investigators watched the camera’s recording on Jan. 15, it didn’t take long to figure out who had installed the device, they said. The camera had captured Jeffrey Eisenbath, a 28-year-old Adrenaline Zone employee, as he placed the camera in the bathroom to spy on those who entered, according to detectives.

Eisenbath, detectives learned, was out of town until Jan. 22 — so they got a search warrant for computer and recording devices at his Troy, Mo., residence, according to the sheriff’s office.

Ultimately, detectives seized five hidden cameras, a computer and memory drives. Then, as Eisenbath was driving in Wentzville, Mo., on Monday, he was arrested, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.

Searching Eisenbath’s home revealed more than 1,000 videos showing child pornography involving young girls, KMOV reports. Eisenbath said he is “addicted to child pornography,” according to police.

Eisenbath admitted to authorities that he had secretly installed the camera the Adrenaline Zone bathroom — and also that he had hidden another camera in a bathroom by the sanctuary of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Troy, where Eisenbath had volunteered, according to the sheriff’s office.

“This is a case of an individual crime that affects many unsuspecting people,” Lincoln County Sheriff John Cottle said in a statement. “The Archdiocese of St. Louis has stringent background screenings of volunteers but it cannot always catch their secret habits. This is why law enforcement has cybercrime task forces in place, to catch individuals like Mr. Eisenbath.”

Eisenbath has been charged in St. Charles County with felony invasion of property. He’s being held at the St. Charles County Jail under a $25,000 cash only bond, according to the sheriff’s office. In Lincoln County, Eisenbath has been charged with felony invasion of privacy and possession of child pornography. Bond for the Lincoln County charges is set at $100,000 cash only.

….

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has issued a statement condemning Eisenbath’s alleged actions.

“The allegations against Mr. Jeffrey Eisenbath, if true, are a disturbing and unacceptable abuse of the trust we place in the employees and volunteers at our parishes and schools,” the Archdiocese of St. Louis said in a statement to KSDK. “We are cooperating fully with the authorities in their investigation and will communicate with those impacted as we continue to learn more about the allegations.”

Eisenbath had traveled with the church on mission trips across the country — including trips on which he would have had contact with young people, according to court records reviewed by KMOV.

Adrenaline Zone, where police say Eisenbath worked, says on its website that it hosts children’s parties and school events, offering laser tag, bumper cars a laser maze and more.

In February 2021, Eisenbath pleaded guilty to four counts: production of child pornography, (2) possession of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography. Eisenbath was sentenced to 184 months in prison. (Federal Court Judgment and Sentencing Document)

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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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Update: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Christopher Lawton Sentenced to Prison for Sexually Assaulting Teen Girl

pastor christopher lawton

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.

In February 2021, Christopher Lawton, the former pastor of Lamplight Christian Church– an independent, non-denominational Christian congregation — in Greenfield, New Hampshire, was charged with thirty felony counts of sexual assault.

The Union Leader reports:

A former pastor who tried to start a church in Greenfield is charged with 30 felony counts of sexually abusing a child in his congregation.

Christopher D. Lawton, 43, of Francestown Road, allegedly assaulted the girl between 2015 and 2016 while he was her pastor.

Lawton was initially charged in October on 10 counts. The investigation continued and a grand jury recently handed up scores of new indictments.

The enhanced felony charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault accuse Lawton of using his position to coerce the alleged victim. Each count carries a 10- to 20-year prison term.

The new charges allege that the abuse took place in Francestown, Greenfield and Peterborough, according to the indictments. No affidavit has been made available in the case, and there are few public details outside of the indictment sheets.

Lawton tried to start a church in Greenfield around 2015, renting the town’s historic Meeting House for his services. He reportedly had a small congregation of 20 to 30 people before a domestic violence arrest in 2015.

Greenfield Police Chief Brian Giammarino has said the 2015 arrest brought Lawton and the sexual abuse allegations to the attention of police. The victim in that case left town, according to Giammarino, and the case fell apart.

However, it was during that domestic violence investigation that police learned of the sexual assault accusations, according to Giammarino.

The alleged victim denied there was anything inappropriate in the relationship with Lawton, Giammarino said. Two years later, the victim came forward and report the alleged sexual abuse, Giammarino said.

Earlier this year, Lawton pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to 7-15 years in prison.

Yahoo News reports:

Christopher Lawton, 44, received 7 1/2 to 15 years in state prison in Hillsborough County Superior Court North in Manchester in April on concurrent sentences for eight counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. Judge N. William Decker also imposed 10- to 20-year suspended sentences on eight additional counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. The suspended sentences are concurrent to each other but consecutive with the other sentences.

Lawton pleaded guilty to those 16 charges, which allege he abused his authority as a pastor several years ago to coerce a teenage girl into sexual acts on several instances between January 2015 and June 2016. Prosecutors dropped more than a dozen additional felony sexual-assault charges as part of a plea agreement.

New Hampshire’s age of consent is generally 16. But under state law, it is a felony to abuse a position of authority to coerce someone under 18 into sexual acts. It is also a felony for a therapy provider to engage in sexual activity with a client of any age through coercion or otherwise unethical behavior. Prosecutors charged Lawton under both provisions, citing a “pastor counseling relationship” he had with the girl.

According to Greenfield selectboard meeting minutes from October 2014, Lawton ran an organization called the Lamplight Christian Church, and sometimes rented space at the Greenfield Meeting House to hold Bible study and worship services on Sunday.

As part of his sentences, the judge ordered Lawton to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 and not to provide teaching or counseling services. If he successfully completes sex-offender treatment in prison, 2 1/2 years will be removed from the sentence he is serving, according to court documents.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Bruce Gerencser