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Category: Black Collar Crime

Black Collar Crime: Anglican Pastor Wayne Buchanan Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charge

wayne buchanan

Wayne Buchanan, pastor of Tremont Congregational Church in Bass Harbor, Maine and St. Brendan’s Anglican Mission, pleaded guilty last Friday to “one count of possessing sexually explicit material of a minor under the age of 12.”

Mark Good, a reporter for Mount Desert Islander, writes:

The former pastor of a Tremont church will serve a suspended sentence and probation after pleading guilty to a child pornography charge Friday in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court.

Wayne Buchanan, 63, of Southwest Harbor pleaded guilty to one count of possessing sexually explicit material of a minor under the age of 12, a Class C felony level crime.

Buchanan was sentenced to a suspended one-year prison term and to two years probation with conditions that include no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 12. He also is required to register with the Maine Sex Offender Registry.

Justice Patrick Larson noted that the sentence was the result of a negotiated plea between the defendant and prosecutors. Buchanan, who will serve no time behind bars if he complies with his conditions, faced up to five years in prison and up to a $2,000 fine.

The prosecuting attorney, Assistant District Attorney Toff Toffolon, told the court that there is no evidence that Buchanan disseminated child pornography or that he had any sexual contact with minors. Since being charged, Buchanan has “engaged in extraordinary rehabilitation efforts,” Toffolon said.

Buchanan’s attorney, Richard Hartley, told the court that “a lot of work” went into the case.

“What sets this apart is what my client has done since,” Hartley said. “It really is exceptional.”

According to Hartley, Buchanan sought counseling to deal with “what has been a long-recognized condition” and has gone as far as to start “a sex offenders anonymous program here in Ellsworth.”

….

Detectives with the computer crimes unit executed a search warrant at Buchanan’s home in January 2016, seizing computers, thumb drives and a memory card. In an affidavit filed to support the search warrant, Detective David Armstrong stated another detective downloaded “numerous sexually explicit images” involving children from Buchanan’s computer.

Buchanan resigned as pastor of the Tremont Congregational Church and St. Brendan’s Anglican Mission on Jan. 7, 2016, the day after state police executed the search warrant.

….

Buchanan…. has been “removed from his holy orders in the Anglican Church by action of the bishop according to the canons of the church and no longer is a member of the Anglican clergy.”

Buchanan, according to published reports, was active in boy scouting and at one time was president of the Katahdin Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Update

Buchannon was arrested last week for violating his probation. The Mount Desert Islander reports:

The former pastor of a Tremont church held up as an example of rehabilitation at his sentencing last month for possession of child pornography was arrested Sept. 7 for violating his probation.

Wayne Buchanan, 63, of Southwest Harbor allegedly violated his probation by using his computer to access websites and perform internet searches that are prohibited by his court-ordered conditions, according the Hancock County District Attorney Matthew Foster.

Buchanan, the former pastor of the Tremont Congregational Church and St. Brendan’s Anglican Mission, pleaded guilty Aug. 25 in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court to one count of possessing sexually explicit material of a minor under the age of 12, a Class C felony level crime. That same day, he was sentenced to a suspended one-year prison term and to two years probation with conditions that include no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 12. He also is required to register with the Maine Sex Offender Registry.

Buchanan was released from the Hancock County Jail on Friday, after posting $5,000 bail.

According to Foster, one of the search terms used by Buchanan was “rubbin butts,” which the Southwest Harbor man claimed was a search for a brand of barbecue sauce. While there is an actual brand by that name, “law enforcement feels that explanation is somewhat convenient,” the district attorney wrote in an email.

Buchanan’s probation conditions allow him to use the internet only as part of his sex offender treatment, Foster said.

The sentence handed down in August was the result of a plea agreement between the defendant and prosecutors. Buchanan faced up to five years in prison.

At the time, Assistant District Attorney Toff Toffolon told the court that Buchanan had “engaged in extraordinary rehabilitation efforts.”

Buchanan’s attorney, Richard Hartley, said the work his client had done “is exceptional.” Buchanan sought counseling to deal with “what has been a long-recognized condition” and had gone as far as to start “a sex offenders anonymous program here in Ellsworth,” Hartley said.

By violating his probation, Buchanan could be ordered to serve his one-year prison sentence. That will be determined at a hearing, which Foster said is scheduled for Oct. 13.

….

Today, October 20, 2017, Mark Good, a writer for the Mount Desert Islander, reports:

A judge last week denied a motion to revoke the probation of a Southwest Harbor man convicted of possessing child pornography but did approve stricter conditions regarding his sex offender treatment program.

Wayne Buchanan, 63, was in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court Friday for a hearing to revoke his probation and to amend the conditions of his probation.

….

In court last week, Buchanan’s former probation officer, Kurt Dyer, testified he had the former pastor arrested on the probation violation charge after receiving notification from monitoring software that Buchanan’s computer was used to access Facebook accounts, Amazon, YouTube, a drop box and other sites.

….

“His probation conditions state he can only access a computer for treatment purposes,” Dyer said, explaining that he could see no therapeutic reasons to visit Facebook and other websites.

Buchanan’s attorney, Richard Hartley, asserted it was Buchanan’s wife, Nola Buchanan, who had used the family’s sole computer, a laptop, for the searches and accused Dyer of not following up on the Southwest Harbor man’s claim of that being the case.

Nola Buchanan also took the witness stand, testifying that she had used the computer on the family’s visit to New Hampshire, visiting the sites along with her daughter. “Rubbin Butts,” she said, is a barbecue restaurant in New Hampshire.

Nola Buchanan said her husband has never had a Facebook page and the drop box is used by him for his therapy.

Deputy District Attorney Toff Toffolon suggested Nola Buchanan was covering for her husband, saying she faced no legal jeopardy for not telling the truth.

“But you certainly see a legal downside as to why your husband is here today,” Toffolon continued.

Toffolon questioned her claim that Buchanan has never had a Facebook page after she admitted she didn’t know her “husband was collecting child porn.”

The deputy district attorney also challenged her reason for not contacting Buchanan’s probation officer after he was arrested to explain the circumstances of their computer use.

“I never thought I had access to Wayne’s probation officer,” she said.

Toffolon said the state had never accused Buchanan of accessing pornographic sites at the time of his arrest.

….

Justice Pat Larson denied the motion for revoking Buchanan’s probation but the state was successful in having his conditions amended regarding treatment.

According to Toffolon, Buchanan is under the care of Harl Hargett of Alpha Forensic Psychological Services LLC of Lakewood, Colo.

Hargett’s website states that, along with treatment in his office, he offers therapy by Google hangouts, Skype and telephone. He claims to be certified as a sex addiction therapist, sex therapist and a substance abuse professional.

Buchanan’s current probation officer, Timothy Quinn, told the court that Buchanan’s therapy with Hargett was not what was required by the state for sex offenders. Quinn, a sex offender specialist with the Maine Department of Corrections, took over for Dyer after Buchanan was assessed to be a high risk for reoffending, according to testimony.

Quinn said Buchanan should be undergoing sex offender therapy, not sex addiction therapy. The two types of therapy are quite different, he said. With a state-certified sex offender counselor, a probation officer is able to monitor an offender’s treatment, he said.

Hartley argued that the plea agreement between the district attorney’s office and Buchanan included information on what counseling his client was to receive.

Toffolon pointed out that, at the time, prosecutors were unaware that Buchanan was a high-risk offender.

Larson ruled that Buchanan’s conditions be amended to require that he undergo state-ordered sex offender treatment and that his computers be subject to random search and seizure. Computers used by other family members are subject to random search and seizure upon reasonable, articulable suspicion.

….

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Justin White Pleads Guilty to Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

pastor justin white

Earlier this year, Justin White, pastor of First Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana was arrested  on “felony charges of insurance fraud and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

The Republic reported:

A Columbus pastor who claimed his family was robbed of about $11,000 in cash and valuables while he was preaching at church has been arrested on felony charges of insurance fraud and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Justin K. White, 38, 3255 Sunrise Drive, senior minister at First Christian Church since May 2011 is accused of arranging with a juvenile to stage the Dec. 18 burglary at his Skyview Estates home on the city’s northeast side in order to file an insurance claim for the lost items, court documents in the case state.

White is accused of having the burglary staged to obtain money from his insurance company to pay a drug debt, court documents state. The charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor relates to White being accused of seeking to have a juvenile commit an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, dealing in a narcotic drug.

White was arrested at 6:45 p.m. Friday at his home by Columbus Police detectives, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman. The charges were filed late Friday afternoon at the Bartholomew County Courthouse, from where a warrant for White’s arrest was issued soon thereafter.

According to White’s bio on First Christian’s website:

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always anticipated the Sunday morning worship gathering. There’s something thrilling that takes place when God’s people come together to offer our best to the Lord in praise, in fellowship, and in study. One of the most powerful parts of the worship service is when we open the Scriptures together to hear from God Himself. I feel humbled to stand and deliver messages from the Bible; it’s a role that I don’t take lightly, but am so thankful for the opportunity. By nature, I’m a teacher/preacher. I love the Scriptures, and I desire to help others grow in their understanding of its pages as well. My goal at the end of every sermon is not that the congregation remembers a joke, a story, or a particular phrase; my goal is for us all to come to know Christ in a clearer, fuller way.

One of my favorite word-pictures for the Church is found in 1 Corinthians 12:12 when Paul writes, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body…” I believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the church…the rest of us form the body. Out of this teaching, I believe the best way to lead is by serving together as a team. I believe that God has given me the gift to preach and communicate His Word, but that gift is not any more important than any other gift of the Spirit. As every part of the body plays a significant role, so every person in the Church is significant as well.

If you are new to the area or simply new to our church, I’d love to get to know you. I think you’ll find FCC a warm, welcoming place to connect with God and with others. Since arriving in Columbus in May of 2011, my wife, Michelle, and I have been so blessed and encouraged by such a loving and growing group of believers. We have three children–(names removed), and a Yorkie we’ve named Oliver. We love to travel, hike, play sports, eat, and share life with others. We are also die-hard fans for the Colts, Reds, and Indiana Hoosiers!

If there is a way I can help you along your spiritual journey, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We’d love to walk with you!

White’s home was “burglarized” on December 18, 2016 while he was busy preaching the word of God.  WTHR-13 reported at the time:

While Pastor Justin White and his family were at church Sunday, someone burglarized their Columbus home, stealing about $11,000 in valuables.

They also took something special from one of his children, and now children are helping to replace it.

At First Christian Church in Columbus, while Justin White spent Sunday in the sanctuary, thieves were preying on the pastor’s home.

“I was here preaching. We have two services,” Pastor White explained. “Everything was going on as normal and then we went home.”

The family noticed the garage door was open to their home. They soon learned someone broke in and ransacked the place sometime between 8:30 and noon.

“The fact that somebody knew where we were and chose Sunday morning to come in? It’s hard. It’s hard to swallow,” said Pastor White’s wife, Michelle.

“We went in and my son looked up and saw that our tv was gone and he said, ‘we’ve been robbed!’ Then we started walking through the house and we realized they had taken so much,” Pastor White said.

The criminals stole more than $11,000 worth of valuables, electronics, small appliances and jewelry, plus something even more personal from (name removed), the family’s youngest.

“She uses a big plastic bottle as a piggy bank and she said, ‘dad! My money’s gone’,” Pastor White said. “It was all gone except for one quarter. They left one quarter there. The rest was gone.”

The bottle was filled with change that the 7-year-old had saved to buy Christmas gifts, earned through chores over several months.

“As a mom, that’s really hard. She’s heartbroken and that’s when I get angry and frustrated,” Michelle said. “I can handle the stuff that was taken from us, but my kids are hurting and that’s the hardest part.”

But then this family had something amazing happen.

They started receiving bags full of coins, donated from neighbors and church members – not from the adults, but from the children.

“Ziploc bags full of coins to be put back in my daughter’s piggy bank,” Pastor White said. “One was anonymous. Another was from a staff member. A mom brought her two preschool daughters over and they had bags full of coins for (name removed). The fact that it comes from a child to a child makes it special.”

“That was the first moment that I cried yesterday when they showed up at our door wanting to give,” Michelle said.

….

He’s [White] also forgiven the thieves and says they’re always welcome in the house where he works – the house of God.

“There’s another way. You don’t have to live like this,” Pastor White said. “I feel for whoever did this.”

The Republic added the following to their story:

However, as Columbus Police detectives looked into the burglary allegation, they determined there were no signs of forced entry at the home. The front door and two other doors on the ground floor were unlocked and undamaged, they said. And the thief or thieves had left untouched wrapped gifts under the family’s Christmas tree.

Officers later learned after obtaining a search warrant that White made a claim for the burglary loss the same day he reported it through the Cincinnati Insurance Co, seeking $11,460.75 in compensation, court documents state.

In an unrelated investigation, Columbus detectives obtained a search warrant for the home of the parents of the juvenile who was involved, who is only identified by initials in the court documents. The juvenile told officers that he had an addiction problem and had just gotten out of rehabilitation, court documents state. After repeatedly denying that he had burglarized White’s house, he told officers, “Justin has a very bad drug problem, too, and he’s been asking me to get him things for him since I was 15 years old on house arrest,” court documents state.

The juvenile said the “things” were drugs, specifically pain pills and heroin, court documents state.

The accused accomplice said he had met White for spiritual counseling when placed on house arrest at age 15 or 16 for possession of marijuana, court documents stated. White would come to the boy’s house at lunch time while both of his parents were at work, court documents state.

On his second visit, White asked if the boy could get him some marijuana for his aunt who had cancer, court documents stated. During the third counseling session, White asked for prescription pain pills; and eventually, White asked the boy to obtain heroin for him, court documents states.

At the time of the burglary, White owed the juvenile about $1,000, and had met with the juvenile in his car at a business parking lot to set up the burglary, court documents state.

White originally wanted the juvenile to do the burglary Dec. 16 while he was in Ohio for his grandmother’s funeral, but the juvenile rejected the idea because of the short notice, court documents states.

On the day of the burglary, the boy went to the White house with another juvenile, a female, who knocked on the door and the two walked in because it was unlocked. A pile of items was where White had told them it would be, court documents said, except for a large television which was also part of the deal White had made with the youth, court documents state.

The boy told detectives his primary way of communicating with White was through Facebook Messenger, with White deleting the messages after they were read, court documents states.

When detectives called White in to tell him that they had recovered some of the family’s property, officers read him his rights and asked him about his relationship with the male juvenile, court records state.

White told detectives that he had been meeting with the boy about drug-related matters — around the same time White had been seeing a doctor for headaches, and was put on hydrocodone, the court records state.

“And, uh, I had that first pill and I wanted the whole bottle,” White told investigators, court records state.

The doctor continued to refill White’s prescription and he told investigators he became addicted, court records state.

White told detectives he met with one of the accused accomplice’s friends, who was a dealer, and White began buying drugs from him, court records said.

“I’m not proud of this now. It was horrible,” he told detectives, court records state.

White admitted to detectives that on a Sunday night, July 27, 2015 he overdosed on heroin and Columbus Police officers administered naloxone, a drug-overdose antidote, which saved his life but resulted in White being sent to treatment at a Hazelden addiction-treatment center in Minnesota for 32 days in August 2015, court documents state.

White told investigators he was clean after the treatment and had been off drugs ever since, court records state.

During the interview, detectives repeatedly questioned White about his interactions with the juvenile boy and specifically about their communication on Facebook. During the interview, White repeatedly denied setting up the burglary and denied he had relapsed on drugs, court records state.

In January, detectives interviewed another juvenile male, who told them that White had messaged him on Facebook when the accused burglary accomplice was incarcerated in a juvenile detention center and had asked the second male juvenile to obtain pain pills for him, court records state.

That juvenile then began regularly selling pain pills to White along with heroin, court documents stated.

The second male juvenile told detectives that when White was on vacation and he needed drugs, White would send him to the his residence with the password to the garage and was told to get certain items to pawn or trade to the drug dealer, court records state. The boy would then drive to where White was vacationing to deliver the drugs, court records state.

White resigned from First Christian Church on March 26, 2017.

Today, White pleaded guilty to ” two Class C felony charges, which allege that between May 7, 2013 and June 30, 2014, he aided or induced a juvenile to commit an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult.”

The Republic reports:

A former local pastor has pleaded guilty to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Justin White, 38, former pastor of First Christian Church in Columbus, pleaded guilty Monday in Bartholomew Circuit Court to the two Class C felony charges, which allege that between May 7, 2013 and June 30, 2014, he aided or induced a juvenile to commit an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, court documents state.

In the two counts, he is accused of aiding and inducing the juvenile to deal in two narcotic drugs, hydrocodone and oxycontin, court documents state.

The plea agreement calls for the prosecution to dismiss a Level 5 felony charge of insurance fraud, which accused White of staging a burglary at his home to obtain insurance money to pay a drug debt, court documents state.

Those convicted of a Class C felony could face a jail term of two to eight years and a fine of up to $10,000 on each count, court documents state.

….

Update

Today, October 20, 2017, Justin White was sentenced to three years in prison for his crimes.  Julie McClure, a writer for The Republic, reports:

The former senior pastor of one of the largest congregations in Columbus was sentenced to three years in prison as part of his guilty plea to two felony counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Justin White, 38, who recently moved to Camby, was taken away by the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department in handcuffs immediately after his sentencing Friday in Bartholomew Circuit Court.

White received a three year prison sentence on one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and a four year sentence on the second count, which was suspended. Judge Kelly Benjamin ruled White would be on probation for that four-year sentence, to be served after the prison sentence, and he could not have unsupervised contact with juveniles or counsel juveniles during that time.

White pleaded guilty in August to two counts of aiding or inducing a juvenile to commit an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, according to court documents. He admitted to aiding and inducing a juvenile, who was then 16 years old, to deal in two narcotic drugs, hydrocodone and oxycontin, court documents said.

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Wayland Brown Charged With Sexual Battery of a Minor Boys

wayland brown

Wayland Brown, a Catholic priest and convicted sexual predator, has been indicted in South Carolina on nine counts of sexual battery involving two children under the age of fourteen. At the time of his crimes, Brown was pastor of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

The Savannah Morning News reports:

Former Savannah Roman Catholic priest – and convicted child sex offender — Wayland Yoder Brown has been indicted in Jasper County, S.C., on nine counts of criminal misconduct with a minor – sexual battery — involving two male victims, South Carolina Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone III announced today.

Brown, 74, is in custody in Maryland, Stone said. He will be extradited to South Carolina. It’s not known how long that process will take.

The felony indictments, returned Thursday in the Court of General Sessions, charge Brown with sexual battery in several locations, including St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hardeeville, S.C., the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and the intersection of Stiney and Morgan roads in Hardeeville in the area surrounded by railroad tracks and depot area.

Victims in the cases ranged in age of under 11 to under 14. One victim was in the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades at the time of the alleged abuses. The other victim was in the seventh grade at the time. The crimes alleged in the indictments occurred in Jasper County between 1978 and 1988.

…..

Stone said the charges carry a sentence of 25 years to life for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and 20 years each for the second-degree charges.

….

Brown was ordained in the Diocese of Savannah in July 1977 and served as associate pastor at St. James Catholic Church and school in the mid-1970s. The Vatican dismissed Brown from the priesthood in December 2004.

He is a convicted sex offender and is registered in Maryland as a sex offender.

….

In June 2002 he was arrested in Savannah on charges of child abuse and perverted practice from Maryland stemming from misconduct in the 1970’s when Brown was a seminarian in Washington, D.C.

Brown pleaded guilty in November 1977 to charges of child abuse and battery for performing sexual acts on a teenage boy and his younger brother, ages 13 and 12, between 1974-1977 in Gaithersburg, Md.

He was sentenced to 10 years in a Maryland prison in November 2002, but was released after serving five years because of credits he earned for good behavior. He was required to register as a sex offender in Maryland.

In 2016, the Savannah diocese reached a $4.5 million settlement through mediation of a lawsuit against Brown and two bishops stemming from sexual abuse of a minor – more than 30 years ago.

That suit, filed by Savannah attorney Mark Tate in the Court of Common Pleas in Jasper County, S.C., alleged that Brown took the plaintiff to Jasper County and had “multiple sexual encounters” with him between August 1987 and May 1988.

The plaintiff, Christopher Templeton of Savannah, was a 13-year-old student at St. James Catholic School in Savannah at the time.

That settlement resolves claims against former Bishop Raymond Lessard and current Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, but not as to Brown.

In October 2009, the Savannah diocese agreed to pay $4.24 million to another victim – former parishioner Alan Ranta Jr., who at the time of the acts was a St. James Catholic School student. He alleged Brown molested him between 1978 and 1983, starting when he was 10 years old.

….

 

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Larry Thorne Sentenced to 30 Years for Sexually Molesting Church Teenager

larry thorne

Larry “Mike” Thorne, pastor of Abundant Life Church in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, was sentenced yesterday to thirty years in prison for repeatedly sexually molesting a church teenager. Prior to sentencing, the court heard from two previous victims of Thorne’s predatory behavior.

NWF Daily News reports:

The former pastor of a local church was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in state prison and a lifetime designation as a sexual offender by Judge William F. Stone.

Larry Michael Thorne had been found guilty earlier this summer of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between the ages of 12 and 18 and sexual battery on a victim in the same age range, according to a press release from the First Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.

Thorne was arrested Nov. 14, 2014 after the victim reported that he’d had sexual contact with her on numerous occasions. The abuse started when she was 14 and ended when she was 17, according to news accounts.

The sexual molestation included sexual intercourse. These criminal acts occurred repeatedly in Thorne’s home in Fort Walton Beach.

The sexual abuse stopped only when the child disclosed it to a pastor at the church she began attending after she had been able to distance herself from the defendant.

The jury also heard evidence from two earlier victims who had been subject to the same pattern of conduct and sexual molestation when they were in their teens.

….

Astoundingly, Thorne is still listed as Abundant Life’s pastor on their website:

Pastor Mike Thorne began his ministry in 1985 as a Youth Pastor He is the eldest of two sons born to Bishop LM and June Thorne, founders of Abundant Life Church (ALC) Fort Walton Beach, FL. Mike has a teenage daughter, Lindsey, who is the light of his life. He has been in full time ministry for the past 25 years. For nine of those years he served as youth pastor. He was made an associate pastor and was involved in the missions programs of ALC and Evangel Fellowship International. He has traveled to Russia, Cuba, Romania, Hungary, Belgium and South Africa on mission trips. He has an AA degree from Christian Life School of Theology and continues his Bible studies today. Mike has a heart for evangelism, spiritual growth and building families.

God desires to see the Emerald Coast set on fire for His glory and Pastor Mike wants to seize that fire for the people on the Emerald coast.As Pastor at ALC, he sees the vision of the Church moving towards the future with a boldness and purpose for each family member of ALC. It is a deep desire of the entire ALC family to experience every blessing, every gift and every powerful move of God’s spirit.

 

Black Collar Crime: Methodist Pastor Jim Irwin Arrested on Drug and Prostitution Charges

pastor jim irwin

Jim Irwin, a United Methodist pastor and the director of Care and Share Ministries in Plymouth, Indiana, was arrested and charged with various drug and prostitution crimes.

WNDU-16 reports:

A Michiana pastor was arrested Wednesday after a prostitution sting.

Police arrested 68-year-old Jim Irwin at his Plymouth home on Charles Street.

Court documents reveal that 3 informants helped police put the Plymouth pastor in jail. He’s facing 5 separate charges, 3 of which are felonies.

Dealing in Schedule I, II, or III controlled substances, Level 6 felony; Dealing a substance represented to be controlled substances, Level 6 felony;  Promoting Prostitution, Level 5 felony; Patronizing a Prostitute, Class A misdemeanor; and Patronizing a Prostitute, Class A misdemeanor.

According to the affidavit for probable cause:

On 8/3/2017 Informant A asked Irwin “what do I have to do to get a room?” Irwin responds “just lay there in front of me naked.”

On 8/9/2017 Informant B was given $50 from Irwin to give to an undercover officer for a controlled substance. He said “That’s your $50, it’s not mine, you’re buying, I know nothing about it.”

On 8/17/17 Informant C was given “two white oval pills later identified as a schedule II narcotic drug as a payment for a sexual act to occur the following week.”

Professional acquaintances were shocked to hear about this arrest happening to a man they believed was a highly respected individual.

….

Sources tell NewsCenter 16 that Irwin is the director of Care and Share Ministries in Marshall County. The non-profit was started in 2004 to help provide emergency shelter to families when they are in crisis.

As of Thursday night, a sign reading ‘Care and Share office is closed due to illness’ is taped to the door of the Marshall County Care and Share. The organization is a client of United Way.

“It was shocking to learn the allegations,” said Jeff Houin, President of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Marshall County. Obviously our relationship is with Care and Share Marshall County Incorporated as our member agency, it’s not with any one individual.”

Irwin was in jail as of 9:10 p.m. on Wednesday, with a $60,000 cash bond.

The probable cause affidavit refers to multiple encounters between Irwin and various cooperating sources.

The charges filed against Irwin, now public record, are attached to this article.

According to a LinkedIn in Irwin’s name, he was also a pastor at Maple Grove United Methodist Church. NewsCenter16 contacted the Northern Indiana Superintendent who said Irwin was not a pastor at the South Bend church, but his wife was until just over a year ago.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Terry Dobbs Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Sex Crimes

pastor terry dobbs

Terry Dobbs, pastor of Old Fashion United Baptist Church (no web presence) in Yorktown, Indiana was sentenced today to nine years in prison for sexually molesting a church girl he was counseling. The courtroom crowd was filled with Dobbs supporters who asked that their child molesting pastor be given probation. Dobbs’ wife blamed the victim and their son blamed the girl’s parents.

The Star Press reports:

The now-former pastor at a Yorktown church on Thursday was sentenced to nine years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old member of his congregation.

Terry Wayne Dobbs, now 54, in July pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation.

Delaware Circuit Court 5 Judge Thomas Cannon Jr. imposed a 13-year sentence, with nine years executed and four years suspended.

During a hearing that exceeded two hours, Dobbs repeatedly said he could not explain or justify his actions.

I don’t know where this came from,” he said. “I’d give anything if I could tell you what happened.” [how about a stiff prick has no conscience]

Authorities said Dobbs, at the time pastor of Old Fashion United Baptist Church, had a sexual relationship with the girl after she began counseling with him about personal problems in July 2016.

He was arrested last December.

Deputy Prosecutor Doug Mawhorr said the teenager was the target of “an extreme example of grooming and manipulation.”

Mawhorr said the married pastor at one point got “down on bended knee” and proposed to his victim, giving her a ring and declaring her his “promise wife… so the sex could be legitimized.”

….

Dobbs’ wife testified there was “blame to be shared” by her husband and his victim.

The pastor’s son suggested the victim’s parents should not have allowed her to meet with his father alone.

Daley recommended his client – who suffers from chronic health problems stemming from a head injury – should receive a seven-year suspended sentence.

At one point, Daley asked those in the packed courtroom to stand if they supported his client.

All of the people on one side of of the courtroom stood. With the exception of one person, those on the other side – including members of Dobb’s former church – remained seated.

Dobbs said he spent almost “every waking hour… trying to figure out” how he could have behaved in such a fashion.

“I threw (his career in the ministry) away and I don’t know why,” he said. “It will haunt me everywhere I go.”

Cannon called the former minister’s actions “tremendously disturbing.”

“Your actions, however you justify them, render your words meaningless,” the judge told Dobbs. “You undertook a pattern of grooming with the victim to satisfy your prurient desires.”

The Muncie man will be required to register with local authorities as a sex offender for 10 years upon his release from prison.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Rose Amadasun Gets Probation for Beating Church Children With a Belt and Wires

rose amadasun

Rose Amadasun, pastor of Shine Forth Evangelistic Ministry (no web presence) in London, England, received probation for beating church children with a belt and wires.

The Croydon Guardian reports:

A South Norwood pastor who would blindfold children before hitting them with belts and wires has avoided jail.

Rose Amadasun, 49, of Beauchamp Road, was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months at Croydon Crown Court on August 9.

She had admitted five counts of child cruelty at a previous hearing.

On Saturday, August 2, 2015 police were called by the manager of South Norwood Leisure Centre stating that two members of the public had informed her they had witnessed the female leader of a church group hitting children with a belt.

Officers spoke to the members of the public who stated they had seen a group of children being assaulted by a woman with a belt and shouting “Jesus” as she did so.

An investigation by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command revealed that Amadasun had been abusing children she came into contact with through her work for a number of years.

As well as blindfolding the children and beating them, she was found to also shake them when they made a noise and force them to fast for a number of days at a time.

….

Detective Constable Giles Weeden, the investigating officer, said: “This was a complex enquiry that was often met with resistance as the congregation closed ranks to protect their religious leader.

…..

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Lonny Remmers Begins Serving One Year Prison Sentence for Fraud

pastor lonny remmers

Lonny Remmers, pastor of Heart of Worship Community Church in Corona, California, reported to prison today to begin serving a year-and-a-day sentence for defrauding an Ohio developer.

Brian Rokos, a reporter for The Press Enterprise, reports:

His last-minute bid to remain free for a few more weeks denied, Corona pastor Lonny Remmers on Tuesday, Aug. 22, reported to prison in Lompoc to begin serving his year-and-a-day sentence for his role in swindling $2 million from an Ohio developer.

Remmers in August 2016 pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was ordered to pay $95,000 restitution. Two others made pleas as well.

The day before he was due to turn himself in to the federal prison, Remmers, 59, filed a motion to delay that, writing that he had to care for his wife, Lisa, who Remmers said was bedridden with shingles, severe bronchitis and vertigo.

“It would be a great help to his wife, and would put defendant Remmers at ease if he could stay at home and take care of her for the next two to three weeks before he has to report to Lompoc,” Remmers wrote in the federal filing.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick denied the request without comment.

Remmers, Robert Milam and Mark O. Wittenmyer solicited $2 million from an Ohio developer as seed money for an investment fund but instead used the money for their own purposes. They had promised Larry Dillin a substantial return on his investment and said the plan was backed by assets in a different, multi-million fund that actually had no assets.

Remmers is head of the Heart of Worship Community Church, which has about two dozen members, many of them recovering drug addicts or others who sought refuge with Remmers from their troubled lives.

….

Readers may remember Remmers from a 2012 story detailing his use of pliers to pinch the nipple of a teenage boy as punishment for sexually assaulting his sister. Rokos reported:

In his latest case, Remmers, pastor of a Corona church with 15-20 members, is accused of assaulting a 13-year-old boy whose mother brought him to Remmers to be straightened out.

Remmers was charged in April with assault with a deadly weapon and inflicting corporal injury on a child.

Authorities say that as head of the Heart of Worship Community Church, he directed two men living at one of the church’s group homes — Darryll D. Jeter Jr. and Nicholas J. Craig — to scare the boy.

Jeter, 28, and Craig, 22, both are charged with assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, making criminal threats, inflicting corporal injury on a child and assault. Authorities say that on March 18, the two men took the boy to Barstow, forced him to dig a grave, hit him with a shovel and threw dirt on him. Jeter and Craig returned the boy to Remmers, who then assaulted the boy’s nipples with pliers, authorities say.

….

Remmers was sentenced to two-years in prison for his crime. And, as sure as the sun comes up in the morning, numerous Christians thought Remmers should have received a pat on the back, not prison, for “helping” the boy:

For one, people who had avoided speaking out during the case that began in March 2012 decided to speak publicly Friday, and they didn’t leave anything out as they tried to persuade Fields to give Remmers probation instead of prison.

The victim in the case and his mother – she moved in with Remmers after his arrest on charges that originally included kidnapping – spoke on the pastor’s behalf Friday.

The boy, now 16, said Remmers “is the best father I have ever known. He means the world to me. He doesn’t deserve any of this. He’s done more to help me in my life than anyone else I’ve ever known. I love this man.”

The boy’s mother, who is not being identified because it could identify the boy, spoke next. She said Remmers pleaded guilty so the boy wouldn’t have to testify about molesting his younger sister. But then she told the court what her son did to her daughter.

She said the incident should have been taken care of in “the family” and not involved police. Remmers taught her son that when it comes to rape, “No means no.”

She claimed that the plea deal was made because of a lack of evidence. Fields interrupted her, reminding her that Remmers voluntarily pleaded guilty.

“Respectfully, you seem to be ignoring that,” Fields said.

Remmers said he pleaded guilty to inflicting corporal injury on a child and assault with a deadly non-firearm weapon so the boy would not have to testify. But Remmers then made public for the first time a contention that the boy had been molested as a 3-year-old, being “passed around like a party favor.”

Remmers said the boy does not fear him.

“The day that this supposed incident went down, the young man came up to me and said ‘Grandpa, thank you for saving my life.’ Not ‘Why did you do this to me?’”

Several church members told Fields that Remmers’ counsel kept their marriages intact. Others said Remmers saved their lives, giving them hope and a place to live and be loved after they had been molested by various relatives or acquaintances. Others said that Remmers, who was ordained in the late 1990s – after serving a contempt of court sentence – is an outstanding pastor.

“I have never been closer to Jesus than I am now because of Pastor Lonny,” said Robert Guzeman, who said he has known Remmers 30 years. “I love you, Pastor.”

Church member Ryan Parks said he was a partier and drinker until he met Remmers, and that the pastor helped him with his marriage. “When I was introduced to the Lord by this man, everything changed for me.”

But two parents of church members said Remmers broke families apart and forbade parents from contacting their loved ones. Jim Forbes said he hadn’t seen his grandchildren for years until he walked past them in the court room.

….

 

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor David Pugh Accused of 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.

David Pugh, pastor of First Assembly of God in Phillipsburg, Kansas has been charged with child sex crimes ranging from “indecent liberties with a child to sexual exploitation of a child.”

KCWH-12 reports:

A former Phillipsburg pastor is charged with child sex crimes.

Pastor David Pugh resigned from Phillipsburg’s First Assembly of God Church in May.

Prosecutors say the crimes for which he’s accused happened between November 2016 and March 2017. These charges range from indecent liberties with a child to sexual exploitation of a child.

We do not know if Pugh’s position as pastor had anything to do with what prosecutors say happened. Police arrested Pugh earlier this month. He has since bonded out of jail.

On Wednesday, Eyewitness News did get a hold of Pugh briefly over the phone. Pugh said he did not want to comment at this time

Black Collar Crime: Is there a Connection Between Sexual Abuse by Clergy and Drug Addiction?

child sex abuse

What follows is an excerpt from an article that suggests that being abused by clergy often leads to substance abuse and addiction. Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Stephen Huba, a reporter for Trib Live, writes:

A group of Catholic lay people and clergy is calling on Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic and other church hierarchs to acknowledge that the clergy sexual abuse scandal is feeding the opioid epidemic.

“He’s got to take some responsibility,” said Tom Venditti, founder of Faithful Catholics Against Pedophilia.

Venditti of Bolivar said he founded FCAP earlier this year to help victims of clergy sexual abuse and encourage them to stay in the Catholic Church.

….

Venditti said he wanted to address “Malesic’s failure to acknowledge clerical sexual abuse as a doorway to heroin abuse and death.”

“We’re here specifically because one of the things you’re not going to hear tonight … is that the majority of victims of clergy sexual abuse become addicts, whether it’s to alcohol or heroin or other hard drugs,” he said.

Venditti said he supports Malesic’s push to involve the Catholic Church in solutions to the opioid epidemic but that more is needed. He said bishops should call on priests accused of sexual abuse to repent and resign.

“These men are not going to get to heaven if they don’t repent,” he said.

Malesic did not respond to Venditti’s claims, but diocesan spokesman Jerry Zufelt said, “The diocese is doing everything it can to protect its children, young adults and vulnerable adults from the evils of abuse.”

About FCAP, Zufelt said, “We support anybody who is working to help abuse survivors.”

Venditti cited two recent cases — one involving a retired priest in the Diocese of Greensburg and one involving a priest in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown — as proof that the problem of clergy sexual abuse is still not being handled effectively.

He alleged that a recent overdose victim in Johnstown had been sexually abused by Brother Stephen Baker, a Franciscan friar accused of abusing students at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown from 1992 to 2001. Three Franciscan superiors were indicted in 2016 in connection with the case.

Baker was found dead of apparent suicide at the St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg on Jan. 26, 2013, days after the announcement of a multimillion-dollar settlement with his accusers. He was first accused of sexual abuse in 1988, but his superiors never reported allegations to police.

“All of the victims of clergy sexual abuse that I’ve dealt with are either suicidal or addicted to drugs or alcohol — every single one of them,” Venditti said.

….

 

The Americans: Who Knows What Goes On With the Good Pastor?

pastor tim
Paige and Pastor Tim

Scene from the FX television show, The Americans.

Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip (Matthew Rhys) are lying in bed talking about their daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) secretly reading her pastor’s (Kelly AuCoin) diary.

Elizabeth: I told her it was crazy and dangerous and she could never do it again

Strange look on Phillip’s face

Elizabeth: What?  If there was something on him with a parishioner…

Phillip: Elizabeth..

Elizabeth: No, No, I know, but it’s interesting right?  Who knows what goes on with the good pastor.

Who knows, right? There is a myth perpetuated by churches and pastors alike that pastors are morally and ethically superior beings — men who rise above the fray; men untainted by the world; men given to prayer and studying the Bible; men who have the most important job in the world. Christians don’t come to this belief in a vacuüm. After all, this is how the Bible describes the qualifications of men who divinely called by God to be pastors/bishops/elders:

This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (I Timothy 3)

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1)

The Apostle Paul, writing to two of his protegés, penned both of these passages of Scripture. Paul makes it clear in I Timothy that what he is writing is the standard all pastors must follow — they MUST be these things. Pastors often preach from both of the passages, detailing the high and lofty qualifications men such as themselves must meet in order to ever-so-humbly lead churches. Of course, no pastor, living or dead — the Apostle Paul, Timothy, and Titus included — has ever met these qualifications.

As a pastor, I struggled with these verses, knowing what they said, yet also knowing what kind of man I really was and what kind of men my colleagues in the ministry really were. How could I be a pastor, I thought, and not live according to the standards set forth by God? I had God, the Holy Spirit, living inside of me, and I had the inspired, inerrant, infallible King James Bible. Surely, with the Holy Spirit leading and teaching me and the words of the living God never far from my reach, I should have been able to live according to Paul’s (God’s) dictates in Titus and I Timothy. Try as I might, there was never a day in my ministerial career when I hit a home run. On many a day, I failed miserably in my quest to be what God demanded I be.

Not measuring up caused me quite a bit of angst and depression. I was able to assuage these thoughts by making sure that I spent time in prayer before entering the pulpit. This way, all my sins were forgiven, and I was, at that moment, the man of God Paul said I must be. This approach was what I now call the Baptist version of Catholic confession.

I am sure my admission here will cause some Christians to say, See! Bruce was never qualified to be a pastor. He never should have been preaching. However, these Pharisaical zealots fail to see that no pastor meets the standards set forth in the Bible. That they think some men do is the real problem.

Why do many Christians think their pastors are better than everyone else? That their pastors are pillars of virtue and morality? One reason is that far too many Christians are blind and naïve when it comes to pastors. They see what they want to see, needing to believe that they are being taught and led by men called of God — men who are bright and shining examples of what Christians should be. What these sincere followers of Jesus fail to see is that pastors, early in their ministries, learn that a certain lifestyle is expected of them. Pastors learn to conform to expectations — outwardly, at least.  Pastor Bruce and Sister Polly may have been having a shouting match on their way to church, but praise God, once they opened the doors of the church, they had on their Oh how I love Jesus smiles, and were ready to serve the people gathered together to hear Wonderful Sermon #3,666.

Most pastors, of course, will never admit what I have written above. Their jobs depend on them playing The Game; on them being first place entrants in the dog and pony show. Years ago, towards the end of my career as a pastor, I said in a sermon that I understood what it meant to be lustful — that I as their pastor had lusted after women who were not my wife. This was an honest admission, one that every pastor could make if he but dare to do so. After the service, a church member came up to me and let me know that he found my admission depressing; that he came to church to be inspired, and he expected his pastor to live a life of v-i-c-t-o-r-y. In other words, this person wanted me to fake it, pretending to be something I was not.

If the Black Collar Crime series has taught readers anything, it has taught them that pastors are no different from other Christians — and no different from the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world. The question, who knows what goes on with the good pastor? can be answered thusly: no one knows. Not his ministerial colleagues; not his parents; not his wife; not the deacon board; not denominational leaders. No one knows everything about him, not even the person he sleeps beside night after night.

I am not, in any way, saying pastors aren’t good people. Many of them are, but they are not what many Christians think they are. At best, they are fleshly men who have demanding, stressful jobs. At worst, they are lazy good-for-nothings who have found a way to loaf and get paid for it. Pastors can and do sin, the difference being that they are often skilled at hiding their sins. If congregants only knew what went on behind the closed doors of studies and manses, I suspect many would lose their faith. And it is for this reason pastors continue to play The Game. Christians needs someone to look up to, someone who is a shining example of godliness. I am convinced that Christianity would be better served if pastors just admitted that they are humans; that they have no magical spiritual powers; that they aren’t special in any way. Can’t do that, though. Churches might get the idea that they no longer need professional clergy; that they and their communities might be better served with laymen who lived and worked locally and preached on Sundays. Why, what would pastors ever do if they had to be like the rest of us?

Black Collar Crime: Pentecostal Pastor Jose Bernal Accused of Sexually Assaulting Children

pastor jose bernal

Jose Bernal, pastor of Tabernaculo De Vida Pentecostal Church in Fort Worth, Texas, stands accused of sexually abusing two girls.

The Star-Telegram reports:

Police arrested a man Wednesday on suspicion of sexually abusing two girls when he was a preacher at a Fort Worth church.

Hurst police reported that officers executed two felony arrest warrants on Jose Francisco Bernal, 52, at his residence in the 7200 block of Deville Drive in North Richland Hills. Bernal was in the Hurst Jail on Wednesday facing two counts of continuous sexual assault of a child. Bail was set at $50,000 for each charge, police said.

Two adult females made outcries of numerous sexual abuse incidents that occurred when they were both juveniles living in Hurst between 2007 and 2013, police said.

Investigators concluded that Bernal met the girls while he was their pastor at the Tabernaculo De Vida Pentecostal Church on West Dickson Street in Fort Worth.