Black Collar Crime

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Volunteer Jim Arnold Accused of Child Molestation

jim arnold

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.

Jim Arnold, a youth ministry volunteer at Big Valley Grace Community Church in Modesto, California, stands accused of child molestation. The Modesto Bee reports:

Jim Patrick Arnold, 40, is accused of the continuous sexual abuse of a family member.

Arnold was a part-time volunteer youth ministry worker at Big Valley Grace Community Church. He has not been charged with any crimes associated with a child outside his family.

A week after Arnold’s Feb. 19 arrest, Senior Pastor Rick Countryman sent a letter to the parents of children in grades 5 through 12 saying Arnold had been removed from the ministry and is no longer allowed on the Big Valley Grace campus.

“We perform interviews and background checks on all employees and volunteers who work with children and youth …” the letter says. “Jim Arnold passed all background checks without report of any past indiscretions.”

The letter goes on to say the allegations occurred off campus with a relative, not with a Big Valley Grace student, but asks anyone with information about “inappropriate behavior … on the part of Jim Arnold” to first notify the Modesto Police Department, then Executive Pastor Bobby Kirchner.

In an email to The Bee Tuesday, Kirchner said he could not say in what capacity Arnold worked with children, if he ever accompanied them on any overnight trips, how long he’d been volunteering there and if he only worked with children in grades 5 through 12.

“I hope you can appreciate that Big Valley Grace cannot and will not comment further on an ongoing criminal case,” he said.

The alleged abuse by Arnold occurred on three different occasions between March 2018 and February 2019, according to a criminal complaint. He has been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child, possession of an image of a minor engaged in sexual conduct, exploitation of a minor and using a concealed camera to secretly videotape another person.

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In an email to The Bee Wednesday Reilly [Arnold’s attorney]  said, “Mr. Arnold not only promptly admitted culpability and accepted responsibility for his actions, he did so under circumstances in which he was suicidal. Law enforcement contact resulted entirely from Mr. Arnold’s own regret and shame, rather than as a result of a complaint by the minor.”

Judge Shawn Bessey kept Arnold’s bail at $100,000 but added a condition to his release that he have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18, in addition to the terms of a restraining order granted to his wife.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor William Oswald Accused of Sex Crimes

william oswald

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.

William Oswald, the former pastor of Dunn’s Chapel Church in West Columbia, South Carolina, stands accused of sexually assaulting two minors numerous times over the space of several years. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

WBTV-3 reports:

A former pastor of Dunn’s Chapel Church in South Congaree is charged with 12 counts of criminal sexual conduct with a child, after two victims came forward last week.

William Oswald, 56, was denied bond on Wednesday morning and remains jailed at the Lexington County Detention Center ahead of his next court appearance in May.

According to investigators, two victims allege the sexual abuse took place between 1996 and 2001 at Dunn’s Chapel Church, where Oswald was a pastor. According to the incident report, the victims described in graphic detail the alleged sexual assaults, each stating they were assaulted more than a one hundred times during the time period. The victims said the alleged abuse began when they were around the age of eight and continued until their early teens.

he two victims were inside the courtroom Wednesday morning during Oswald’s bond hearing. One said she feels empowered by stepping forward and reporting the alleged abuse.
“I just finally feel safe because he’s not going to be able to touch me again or get out,” she said. “Over the years he just always manipulates the situation so no matter how many boundaries you try to put up he ends up getting back in and he can’t do that anymore, I hope.”
The victim said she knows of other victims that have yet to come forward. South Congaree Police said there are likely other victims in different jurisdictions.

….

“I know of several already, some that are still too afraid to speak,” she said.

She said she wanted to speak in hopes of encouraging other victims to step forward.

“There’s hope and it’s okay to speak and even if it takes you a while and years to feel safe and be separated enough it’s okay to speak, you can feel safe again,” she said.

Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor Richard Mick Faces New Trial, Out on Bond

richard mick

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 2016, Richard Mick, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Sandusky, Ohio was convicted of child rape and sentenced to life in prison. I previously wrote about Mick’s trial here. In 2018, an Ohio appeals court overturned Mick’s conviction. The Sandusky Register reported at the time:

An Ohio appeals court said a Sandusky pastor previously sentenced to life in prison for child rape must receive a new trial.

Richard Mick, 56, who was sentenced in Erie County Common Pleas Court in 2016, had his conviction overturned Friday by the Sixth District Court of Appeals. A jury originally found Mick guilty of four felony charges of rape and gross sexual imposition.

Mick, formerly a pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church, appealed his conviction after his trial was notably marked by his then-attorney K. Ronald Bailey refusing to participate in the trial.

Bailey, in 2016, argued the trial should have been delayed, and Judge Roger Binette held him in contempt of court after Bailey told Binette he was “not participating” in the trial. Bailey eventually served a 30-day sentence in the Erie County jail for the contempt charge.

Bailey did not respond to requests for comment Friday afternoon.

Mick’s appeal, filed by his new Cleveland-based attorney, Russell Bensing, alleged Bailey’s refusal to participate in the trial violated his right to effective counsel, according to the appeal.

The appeals court agreed with Mick, according to a court opinion written by Judge Thomas Osowik.

“Although Mick could have waived his constitutional right to counsel, the record shows he did not,” Osowik said.

There are not any court dates set following the overturned conviction Friday.

Mick has another pending court case in Erie County Common Pleas Court, where he faces more counts of gross sexual imposition, according to court records. He has a pretrial in that case set for May 16.

Mick’s new trial is scheduled for June 3. Last week, Mick posted an $80,000 bond and was released from jail.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Anthony Haynes on Trial for Child Sex Trafficking

anthony haynes

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.

Previous posts about Cordell Jenkins, Anthony Haynes, and Kenneth Butler: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Cordell Jenkins Accused of Sex Trafficking Children, Black Collar Crime: Another Toledo Evangelical Pastor, Kenneth Butler, Accused of Sex Trafficking, Black Collar Crime: Three Toledo, Ohio Evangelical Pastors Indicted on Child Sex Trafficking Charges, Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Kenneth Butler Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Trafficking Charges, Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Cordell Jenkins Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking, Black Collar Crime: Wife and Stepdaughter of Pastor Anthony Haynes Accused of Kidnapping Victim

In late 2017, Evangelical pastors Cordell Jenkins, Anthony Haynes, and Kenneth Butler were indicted on charges of conspiracy to sex traffic children. The indicted men were affiliated with Abundant Life Ministries and Greater Life Christian Center, both in Toledo, Ohio.

Since then, Jenkins and Butler pleaded guilty. Haynes, on the other hand, decided to roll the dice and take his case to trial. The Star Tribune reports:

A minister who promised a woman he’d take care of her daughter began having sex with the teenager daily and later encouraged two other pastors to have sex with her as well, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Anthony Haynes could face up to life in prison if he’s convicted of child sex trafficking and other charges. The two other Toledo-area pastors charged in the investigation have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors said during the opening of Haynes’ trial that he first had sex with the girl when she was 14. They said the evidence against him includes text messages, photos, voice mails and DNA evidence from his church where the girl said they often had sex.

Haynes’ attorney told jurors that the allegations are shocking, but there’s not enough evidence to prove the trafficking and conspiracy charges he faces.

Attorney Pete Wagner also said Haynes may have had a questionable relationship with the girl, but he didn’t coordinate or take part in trafficking her to the other ministers. He also said there was no paying for sex.

Prosecutors say the girl had a difficult childhood and was sexually abused by a relative.

Haynes pledged in front of his congregation to protect her and serve as a father figure, but he began grooming her for sex when she turned 14 and first forced her to perform sex acts in front of him, said Michael Freeman, an assistant U.S. attorney.

They had sex day after day, often at a motel or his church, the Greater Life Christian Center in Toledo, and Haynes would give her cash, Freeman said.

After about a year, Haynes introduced her to Kenneth Butler, another pastor, and he also began having sex with her, Freeman said.

Sometimes, the two men joked about the arrangement, prosecutors said. One text shown in court that prosecutors say was sent by Butler to the girl said: “You better be nice and naked when I get there.”

Prosecutors said the girl next met Cordell Jenkins, a minister who founded his own church in Toledo and built a large following until it closed after his arrest.

The FBI has said in court documents that Jenkins had sex with two girls at his home, church office and a motel and often recorded the acts with his phone.

Haynes, prosecutors said, encouraged the relationship with Jenkins.

Today, Haynes took the stand. The Toledo Blade reports:

Anthony Haynes sobbed as he took the stand in federal court Wednesday, claiming he was manipulated by a teenage girl and he took the fall for sexual relationships between her and two other pastors.

….

Federal prosecutors rested Wednesday morning and the case was turned over to Mr. Haynes’ defense attorneys, Peter Wagner and John Thebes, calling Mr. Haynes to the stand — where he denied having a sexual relationship with the girl or encouraging her to have sex with the other pastors.

Mr. Haynes testified Wednesday that the girl threatened the pastor, saying she would tell people he was molesting her if she did not get things — like a cell phone.

….

dditionally, he said he knew the girl was having sexual relations with Butler and Jenkins, and he lied to federal investigators because he “was covering up for people,” he said. He previously told investigators that he had sexual relations with the teenage girl, took nude photos of her, and sent nude photos of her — but that was a false statement, he testified on Wednesday.

“I was tired. People don’t know what I was dealing with. Outside looking in, I look like the biggest monster,” Mr. Haynes said.

“I’m not no freak, I’m not a pervert. I’m an innocent family man with flaws and issues and I’m trying to get back to my family and children,” he added before breaking down into tears.

Mr. Haynes testified he eventually closed his church because the “secrets” of Jenkins and Butler were becoming too much. He said he never reported the incident to police.

….

Federal prosecutor Alisa Sterling asked Mr. Haynes how his and Butler’s sperm both got onto a small carpet sample. Mr. Haynes said he and his wife had sexual relations at the church and Butler also had a key to the building.

Ms. Sterling also showed Mr. Haynes a series of text messages between him and the girl, including ones referencing them having sex at the church and her being sore following the act.

He could not recall sending her sexually explicit photos and said some messages were taken out of context. He also claimed his social media account was hacked when a conversation between the two consisted of a conversation about a threesome.

….

Earlier this week, prosecutors called a series of FBI agents involved in the case; the victim’s school guidance counselor; a family friend who purchased her an iPhone for her 17th birthday; Mr. Haynes’ co-defendant, Kenneth Butler; and the victim.

The now 19-year-old woman in the case outlined a lengthy history with the pastors beginning with Mr. Haynes when she was 14, she said Tuesday. She moved in with the Haynes family in 2014, she testified.

The woman — who provided poised and direct answers during questioning — said Mr. Haynes began having sex with her at his church when she was a teenager before later introducing her to pastors Kenneth Butler and Cordell Jenkins, encouraging her to engage in sex acts with them.

 

Black Collar Crime: Christian Man Repeatedly Rapes Woman, His Pastor Puts in a Good Word For Him

thomas jackson

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.

Without fail, it seems, pastors can be found putting in a good word for parishioners convicted of sex crimes. Why is it pastors feel a need to speak on behalf on sexual predators? God forgives and forgets, these pastors might say, and so should we. To that I say, bullshit. The only person who is in the position to forgive is the victim. We as a society must hold such people accountable, not only legally, but in the court of public opinion. There are some crimes that are so heinous that there can be no redemption. Punishment is in order, end of story.  Such is the case of Michigan City police officer Thomas Jackson.

Today, a tearful Jackson was sentenced to 36 years in prison for repeatedly raping an intellectually disabled woman. The Michigan City News-Dispatch reports:

Jackson admitted during his first jury trial to having engaged the 25-year-old in vaginal, oral and anal sex on various occasions and at different locations over the course of approximately two years when she was in her early twenties.

During that trial, he was acquitted of one count of rape, and the jury hung on the remaining three counts.

A new jury in his second trial delivered guilty verdicts on all three remaining counts in December.

“I wish I could go back and undo everything, and I pray, one day, that (the victim and her family) do forgive me,” Jackson cried from the defense table Friday. “ . . . I’m so sorry and I’m so ashamed of what happened.”

According to the probable cause document in the case, the victim possesses the emotional and mental capacities of a child between the ages of 10 and 12.

For that reason, Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule drew parallels between Jackson’s rape case and cases of child molesting.
“Intellectually, a child was sexually abused – repeatedly,” Roule said of Jackson’s victim.

Jackson’s lawyer called on several people to put in a good word for his client. While the News-Dispatch story does not give the exact words spoken by Jackson’s pastor, it did say:

The defense called multiple witnesses to testify on Jackson’s behalf, including his former pastor, a childhood friend and the field officer who handled Jackson’s case when he was on pretrial probation. All three talked of what they perceived to be Jackson’s high moral character or spirituality.

High moral character or spirituality? Really? I know we live in a Trumpian world now, where everything is turned upside down, but surely rational people would say that repeatedly raping an intellectually disabled woman and high moral character/spirituality are incompatible. Someone with high moral character does not rape a child. Jackson, by his actions, showed he is anything but moral or spiritual. And from my seat in the atheist pew, there is nothing Jackson can do in this life to redeem himself. Perhaps, Jackson loved puppies and was nice to his kids. He might have been a wonderful police officer. None of those things matters. His crime was such that any goodness in his life was obliterated by his vile actions. Wouldn’t it be nice if just once a pastor at a sentencing hearing stood before the court and said, “this man is a vile miscreant who deserves everything he gets, and if I had my way he would be locked up until he dies”? Why is it that so-called men of God can never rise to the occasion? Does their theology stand in the way; the necessity of forgiving all who sin? Perhaps they fear causing harm to the perpetrator’s family. Fine, then say nothing. Surely that is a better path than choosing to paint a sexual predator as a moral/spiritual man who happened to take a wrong turn.

Judge Michael Bergerson didn’t buy the whole “Jackson was a moral/spiritual man” line of thinking:

The repeated rape of [the victim] on the whim of the defendant over the course of several years is hard to fathom and evidence of a depraved mind.

Notwithstanding his position as a Michigan City Police officer, as a human being, the defendant had a duty to protect a person with obvious cognitive disabilities who had been entrusted to his care, custody and control. In doing so, the defendant transgressed a boundary of sickening proportions.

For further context on this story, please read this South Bend Tribune story from September 2018. The woman’s parents, in my opinion, showed a lack of awareness and discretion in allowing their daughter to have a relationship with the married Jackson.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Jerred Peacock Accused of Having Sex With Minor

jerred peacock

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.

Jerred Peacock, a youth pastor at Living Waters Church in Estero, Florida, was arrested last October on charges of sexually assaulting a minor church girl. Peacock was released on a $100,000 bond and ordered not to have any contact with the victim.  Unable to keep his dick in his pants, Peacock violated the judge’s no-contact order, and now he’s back in the slammer with his bond revoked.

The Naples Daily News reports:

A warrant affidavit from the State Attorney’s Office alleges Peacock, 34, was in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl between March 2018 and August 2018 while he was still a youth pastor at Living Waters Church in Estero.

Lee County deputies arrested Peacock on Oct. 12 and he was released the next day on a $100,000 bond. On Oct. 13, Lee Circuit Judge John Duryea issued a no-contact order, court records show.

On Jan. 28, Lee Circuit Judge Bruce Kyle denied a motion to set aside the no-contact order.

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A hearing to revoke Peacock’s bond was held Monday at 1:30 p.m. and Peacock was arrested later that afternoon. Peacock remains in custody at the Lee County Justice Center.

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Special Victims Unit detectives interviewed the girl in August, and she at first denied any sexual relationship. In a second interview later that month, she told detectives that Peacock on several occasions had touched her genitals and made her touch his, including at his home when his wife was at work.

After Peacock’s original arrest, Wink News reported:

A former youth pastor in Lee County, who once hosted an event preaching purity to teens, has been accused of sexually assaulting a girl. The pastor led the spiritual lives of children at his church for months. He has been released from jail and faces trial this month.

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Living Waters told WINK News in a statement, “[They are] extremely saddened and express our deepest sympathy to any and all victims of sexual misconduct. All employees at [Living Waters Church] go through an extensive background check with character references.”

Dustin Lotz, a congregation member at the church, is looking for more evidence to be made public before he makes a personal judgment call on the actions the former pastor is being accused of.

“I don’t know anything about the facts,” Lotz said. “I know lately there’s been a lot of media, a lot of sexual accusations, so it’s hard … It’s really hard just to have a knee-jerk reaction to the news.”

Lotz and his family attend the church, and he is worried about how it may impact the congregation.

“If it is true, it’s not something that would be good for the church,” Lotz said. “It’s something they would have to talk against.”

Peacock’s attorney spoke to WINK News and said the allegations against his client are not true. He is “pretty convinced [Peacock] will be absolved of any wrongdoing in the end.”

Gotta love the church member who is reserving judgment about Peacock’s arrest, not wanting to have a “knee-jerk reaction to the news.”  Worse yet, this man is more concerned about the news hurting the church than he is the damage done to the victim.  Always protect the church, right?

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Nicholas Lynch Accused of Sex Crimes

nicholas lynch

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.

Nicholas “Nick” Lynch, a research assistant and curriculum writer at Highview Baptist Church in Lousiville, Kentucky, was arrested yesterday and accused of sending sexual photos and videos to a police officer posing online as a minor. The Lexington Herald Reporter reports:

Lynch, 33, admitted he discussed sex and sent explicit photos to a minor (the undercover detective) , according to the attorney general’s office. Lynch also allegedly asked details about the “minor’s” sexual history, asked for sexual images and live-streamed videos of himself masturbating, according to court records.

Some of the communication took place while Lynch was at the church, the attorney general’s office said.

Lynch was arrested at the church and charged with engaging in the prohibited use of an electronic communications system to procure a minor or peace officer for sexual offenses.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Gregory Reese Charged With Sex Crimes

busted

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.

Gregory Reese, pastor of Mountain View Assembly of God Church (in Missouri?), was arrested last week and charged with three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy and one count of fourth-degree child molestation. Reese is accused of sexually molesting a minor girl.  Last year, one of the church’s youth workers, James Lindsey, pleaded guilty to statutory sodomy of a child less than 12 years old.

The West Plain Daily Quill reported at time:

A Mtn. View man charged with one count of statutory rape of a person less than 14 years old and three counts of statutory sodomy of a person less than 12 years old was sentenced to 18 years in prison after entering a plea agreement Thursday in Howell County.

James Adam Lindsey, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree statutory sodomy with a person less than 12 years old and was sentenced by 37th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Don Henry.

Lindsey was charged Jan. 5, 2017, with statutory rape and two counts of statutory sodomy. On Jan. 23, an additional charge was filed against him after discovery of an alleged second victim.

According to probable cause statements, Lindsey allegedly had sexual intercourse with a child less than 12 years old between Nov. 5, 2016, and Dec. 28, 2016, while he and his girlfriend were babysitting several children in Lindsey’s apartment. During the same time period, he is accused of having deviant sexual intercourse with the girl.

The other alleged incident, deviant sexual intercourse, took place with a boy less than 12 years old during July 2016. He reportedly told both victims the assaults were a secret between them.

Lindsey was reportedly named as a suspect in several Division of Family Services (DFS) reports of child molestation with five victims ranging in age from one to nine, most of them under the age of five. According to the reports, Lindsey is reportedly a serial pedophile who had been sexually assaulting children for six years prior to the charges. Three different reports from DFS in Dent County allege he had sexually abused four other children from 2011 to 2014.

(The church has no web presence.)

The West Plains Daily Quill later added:

A family member of one of the victims, who read about Reese’s charges in Friday’s edition, contacted the Quill to ask why it wasn’t made public that Reese was a pastor at the Assembly of God Church in Mtn. View. During the phone call, the woman also reported that Reese wasn’t the first church member to have been charged with sexual assault against a child.

The family member said she was concerned because church members had not been informed of charges against either Lindsey or Reese and she wondered if there might be other victims.

The information that Reese was a pastor at the church was released by the Associated Press after the Quill had gone to print.

The family member said Lindsey had reportedly served as a youth pastor in the church. However, after Reese was made aware of an allegation from a young girl that Lindsey had touched her inappropriately, Reese removed Lindsey from contact with children as a youth pastor.

According to the woman, Lindsey was later reinstated by Reese after his replacement didn’t work out. He and Reese were close friends, she added, and she tried to avoid any personal interaction with Reese after the case was resolved.

In an effort to avoid Reese, she said she spoke with officials with the Ava Assembly of God Church while seeking rent assistance but was directed back to Reese. She said she told church officials why she didn’t want to speak to Reese, telling them he had “covered stuff up,” and offered them information from police reports and court records about Lindsey’s case. However, she said they still directed her to Reese.

Black Collar Crime: Mormon Bishop David Moss Arrested on Sex Crime Charges

david moss

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.

David Moss, a Mormon bishop at the Mill Pond Ward in Lehi, Utah, was arrested last month in a human trafficking sting.

Fox-13 reports:

Detectives say 51-year-old David N. Moss, using the alias “Pilot”, contacted women he believed to be prostitutes on social media. Moss told the women he could manage them, which he claimed was different from being a pimp.

Officers say Moss told the women he could protect them, help them avoid police, and book their clients on their behalf. He told the women he had “run” other girls in the past.

Moss ultimately met with the two undercover officers, and during that meeting he showed them cash and said he was “not opposed to paying” for services, detectives allege. He also detailed ways to avoid police and at that point forcibly grabbed one woman’s hand and placed it on his genitals.

The document states Moss then unzipped his pants and exposed himself to the two undercover detectives.

….

Detectives wrote that Moss’ current position as a religious leader and his prior work as a vice squad cop in St. George gave them reason to worry there may be more victims out there.

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Moss was booked into jail for the Lehi incident on charges of exploiting a prostitute, patronizing a prostitute, sexual battery, and two counts of lewdness.

Moss was a former police officer. He was in charge of the vice squad for the St. George Police Department. According to Fox-13:

Capt. Mike Giles, St. George Police, said Moss previously supervised their vice squad but resigned his position in their department seven years ago. He said Moss was involved in a consensual sexual relationship that had “an on-duty component” but was not in any way related to the current allegations Moss faces.

Giles said Moss resigned after his case went to a pre-determination meeting but before any recommendation for termination was made.

 

Black Collar Crime: Canadian Politician Don MacIntyre Pleads Guilty to Sex Crime

don macintyre

Don MacIntyre, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Canada, pleaded guilty to to one count of sexual interference involving a child and was sentenced to 1-3 years in prison. In a letter to the victim, MacIntyre blamed “Satan” for his actions. No, Mr. MacIntyre, YOU alone are to blame for your despicable actions. Prosecutor Julie Snowdon said of MacIntyre’s “Satan” claim, “It’s easy and convenient to deflect blame to an external force such as Satan.” Snowdon went on to say that this was yet another way MacIntyre manipulated the victim.

The CBC reports  MacIntyre told the victim that God had approved the abuse; that God said touching her was okay. He also told the girl that he had prayed about the matter. Well that’s good to know. As long as this asshole prayed about it, right?

 

 

Black Collar Crime: Not One, Not Two, Not Three, But FOUR Alleged Sexual Predators at NewSpring Church

how-newspring-handles-sexual-abuse

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.
NewSpring Church — a fourteen campus megachurch pastored by Brad Cooper, Clayton King, and Dan Lian — located in Anderson, South Carolina has a bit of problem on its hands; one that church leaders are desperately trying to explain away. (NewSpring was previously pastored by Perry Noble. Noble was fired in July 2016 due to alcohol abuse and neglecting his family. In 2017, Noble and his wife divorced.)

According to a bombshell news story by The Post and Courier, NewSpring has had FOUR alleged sexual predators in their midst over the past three years. Yet, NewSpring refuses to take responsibility for their culpability in the matter.

The Post and Courier reports:

After telling detectives in November that he had sexually assaulted young boys in the North Charleston church where he volunteered, Jacob [Jake] Hazlett made another troubling revelation: this wasn’t the first time.

As a teen in Ohio, Hazlett had been jailed for molesting a younger boy. And when he later moved to North Carolina and began volunteering in churches there, his interactions with young people drew concerns from two congregations he joined, according to a recent lawsuit.

NewSpring Church leaders insist they knew none of this when Hazlett began volunteering in the children’s ministry at their North Charleston campus last year. They expressed shock when he was accused of sexually assaulting at least 14 children during his nine months there. They said they had taken every precaution to prevent such crimes from occurring.

But this wasn’t the first time that NewSpring — a Southern Baptist megachurch with 14 campuses across South Carolina — had counted accused child predators among its ranks.

It also wasn’t the second time. Or even the third.

Since 2016, at least four men working in varying capacities for NewSpring have been accused of sexual misconduct with youngsters.

Each time NewSpring reckoned with the fallout from these allegations, the church was consistently measured in its response. Its leaders offered nearly identical explanations in every case: NewSpring vetted its staff and volunteers through an extensive screening process. The accused individuals had been removed from their posts. Evil was to blame.

Hazlett’s case, however, raises fresh questions about the church’s process for screening those who work with children and the systems it has relied on for pinpointing possible signs of abuse. Meanwhile, police and lawyers for the victims are investigating, trying to piece together how this accused molester was able to infiltrate the church and carry out his alleged crimes for so long undetected.

….

On Nov. 25, Hazlett was watching over a group of children — none older than 5 — in a portion of NewSpring’s KidSpring ministry called the Tree House. During the session, Hazlett escorted a 3-year-old boy to the restroom. During that visit, he sexually assaulted the boy, affidavits show.

The following day, the boy’s parents complained to NewSpring that Hazlett had an “inappropriate interaction” with their son, the church would later tell worshipers. Church officials decided to check their video surveillance system to see what had happened.

More than three dozen security cameras are situated in the rooms that comprise the children’s ministry, according to court filings, including at least one camera that is trained on panel doors that open to the restroom where Hazlett took the boy. Footage from that camera showed Hazlett looking around to make sure no one was watching before he sexually assaulted the boy, according to an arrest affidavit.

Church leaders reviewed footage from the cameras dating back three months — as far back as their surveillance system has storage. After observing what NewSpring staff described as “inappropriate conduct by Hazlett,” the church reported their findings to law enforcement, according to a letter the church sent to worshipers.

When Hazlett sat down with North Charleston detectives on Nov. 27, he told an investigator that he photographed and filmed many of the assaults.

Multiple attorneys and law enforcement officials who have reviewed footage of the acts characterized Hazlett as “impulsive.” There were times, they said, where multiple children were pursued and assaulted in one day — some more than once.

Feeds from the security cameras are supposed to be monitored in real time by volunteers who are on the North Charleston campus, said Josh Slavin, a Charleston attorney representing several of the victims’ families in a civil suit. That suit states that volunteers “either failed to monitor the live feeds or ignored the abuse that played out on the screens.”

….

In April 2016, 20-year-old Leo La Salle Comissions admitted to investigators that he had fondled and kissed a 15-year-old boy “in a dark room” at NewSpring’s Florence campus, according to a Florence Police Department incident report and affidavit obtained by The Post and Courier. He was initially charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor but later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault and was sentenced to three years of probation.

A month after that incident, 23-year-old volunteer Chaz McKinsey Wood admitted to molesting a 10-year-old boy who he met through his duties at the NewSpring campus in Anderson County, according to reports from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. Wood was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor and committing a lewd act on a minor. He later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault and received a 10-year suspended sentence and five years of probation. He also was required to register as a sex offender.

Another NewSpring Church associate, Caleb Lide Jordan, was ousted after he was charged with soliciting sex with a minor in February 2018. Jordan, who was a full-time employee at the North Charleston campus from August 2011 to September 2015, served as a church volunteer after stepping down from his paid position, a church spokesperson said.

Please take the time to read the entire story at The Post and Courier website.

Black Collar Crime: Was Pastor Robbie Conn Found Not Guilty on Fraud Charges?

busted

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 July 2017, I wrote a post detailing alleged social security fraud  by William “Robbie” Conn, pastor of Jeffersonville Assembly of God in Jeffersonville, Kentucky, and his wife Tonya.

Lex-18 reported at the time:

A federal grand jury indicted a Montgomery County pastor and his wife. Both are accused of committing fraud involving the Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare programs.

The indictments for William “Robbie” Conn and his wife Tonya came down earlier this month in United States District Court for the the Eastern District of Kentucky in Lexington.

They allege Conn and his wife defrauded the government programs of more than $100,000 over six years.

The court documents said William Conn, a longtime pastor at Jeffersonville Assembly of God, learned he had a heart problem that required surgery in May 2009.

According to the indictment, Conn applied for Social Security Disability, and it was granted.

The indictment alleges the church board then agreed to pay William Conn’s salary to his wife Tonya. In doing so, “William ‘Robbie’ Conn could receive social security benefits, while still receiving a salary from Jeffersonville Assembly of God,” the indictment states.

It goes on to allege Conn continued to receive benefits while working until 2015.

Conn and his wife both face seven counts each with a possible five years of prison time or more for each count.

We reached out to Conn and his wife several different times but never heard back.

Churchgoers said off-camera that they were shocked by the allegations. One said Conn called the accusations “not true” at a service Wednesday night.

Late last year, a commenter said the charges against the Conn’s had been dropped. I asked her for evidence of this, but she never responded. In December 2018,someone sent me evidence that clearly refutes what the aforementioned commenter said. In September 2018, Robbie Conn signed a plea agreement, admitting his guilt. As part of the plea agreement, the charges against his wife were dropped. You can read the plea agreement here.

On September 28, 2018, the Mt. Sterling Herald reported:

William “Robbie” Conn, pastor at Jeffersonville Assembly of God Church, pleaded guilty last week to a federal charge against him.

Robbie Conn and his wife, Tanya D. Conn, were charged in a seven-count indictment in July 2017 with defrauding the government of more than $100,000 over six years.

At a pretrial conference Sept. 19, Robbie Conn agreed to be rearraigned and pleaded guilty to one count, according to court documents. He also waived the right to appeal the guilty plea and conviction and except for claims of ineffective counsel, he waived the right to attack collaterally the guilty plea, conviction and sentence, those documents show.

Sentencing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 24 in U.S. District Court before Chief District Judge Karen K. Caldwell.

Robbie Conn was allowed to remain free on bond until sentencing.

He faces a potential sentence of not more than five years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000 and a term of supervised release of not more than three years.

The charges against Tanya Conn are to be dismissed.

As part of his plea agreement with prosecutors, Robbie Conn admitted that he made a false document and in that document contained a statement that was false, according to court documents.

In the plea agreement, Robbie Conn confesses that he acted “knowingly and willfully” and that the document pertained to a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the U.S. government, namely the Social Security Administration and Medicare, court documents show.

As part of the plea agreement, Robbie Conn admitted to a set of facts set out by prosecutors, according to court documents. They include:

  • That Robbie Conn was a pastor at the Jeffersonville Assembly of God from a period of at least 2009 through the date of the indictment.
  • In May 2009, Robbie Conn applied for disability benefits related to a heart condition.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) approved Conn’s application and paid him monthly benefits for himself and his three children from then until the date of the indictment.

Two primary factors for SSA disability benefit eligibility are a disabling condition and inability to work as a result.

  • In February of 2010, Robbie Conn received a heart transplant. He returned to the Jeffersonville Assembly of God as early as May 2010. Part of his return included performance of funeral and other miscellaneous, religiously affiliated services for which he was compensated, but never informed SSA of his change in status, that is, his ability to return to work.
  • On Aug. 14, 2015, Robbie Conn visited the SSA office in Lexington. He completed a SSA Statement of Claimant or Other Person Form (Form SSA-795), wherein he falsely stated that he does not work or do anything that could be perceived as work such as volunteer. He signed this document under penalties of perjury.
  • At the time he signed this document, Robbie Conn knew he had been regularly preaching at the Jeffersonville Assembly of God, as well as at other religious-based gatherings, since at least May of 2010.
  • As a result of Robbie Conn’s conduct, he and his children received $111,382 from the SSA, to which they were not entitled. Conn also received $26,808.87 in medical services funded by Medicaid, the funding for which he was not entitled.

Tanya Conn was reportedly receiving her husband’s salary during this period.

As part of the plea, Robbie Conn agreed to cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney’s Office by making a full and complete financial disclosure, including a statement or affidavit identifying all assets in which he has any interest.

As you can see, neither Pastor Conn or his wife were found innocent. Robbie Conn admitted he was guilty, and as part of his plea agreement the charges against his wife were dropped.

This story is a good example of why I asked for evidence to the contrary when people claim a posted story is wrong. Just because a church member, family member or supporter says a Black Collar criminal is innocent doesn’t make it so. Sadly, people have been known to lie just to protect the “good” name of their pastors or other church leaders. What matters is facts.

Robbie Conn’e sentencing has been postponed.

Robbie Conn was sentenced to six months home detention. Astoundingly, Conn still thinks his arrest and conviction was all a big misunderstanding; that he didn’t intentionally lie to government officials.  The Mt. Sterling Advocate reports:

In a previous letter to the judge Robbie Conn wrote that “my continuing treatment is very costly. I have so many bills that I am doing my very best to pay on. It was never my intent to do any wrong or to defraud anyone in any way. Me and my wife have always worked very hard, paid our taxes and have always tried to be honest and respectable citizens. I had no choice but to do what I needed to do in order to live.”

Conn’s attorney, James Lowry IV of Lexington, told the judge that his client did not intentionally lie. He said Conn simply shifted the administrative work of the church to his wife, Tanya, after his heart transplant while he continued to preach.

….

Prosecutors claimed Robbie Conn lied to the government by saying he was not working while he continued preaching after his heart transplant, collected benefits and his wife collected his pay.

Conn reportedly stated in federal documents he was unable to work. During this time he served as pastor at Jeffersonville Assembly, where he still remains, according to prosecutors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Anderson asked the judge to balance the need for punishment against the defendant’s health. She encouraged the judge to establish some sort of deterrent to others who might consider breaking the law.

This “was a much more complex deception than giving a bit of misinformation,” she claimed.