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Tag: Child Pornography

Black Collar Crime: Southern Baptist Youth Pastor Adam Lewis Arrested on Child Porn Charges

adam lewis

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.

Adam Lewis, a youth pastor at Rock Mountain Lakes Baptist Church in McCalla, Alabama, a school teacher, and a wrestling coach, stands accused of possession of child pornography.

AL.com reports:

A Pelham middle school teacher and wrestling coach who also doubled as the youth director of a McCalla church was arrested and jailed Wednesday on child porn charge.

Adam Jeremy Lewis, an eighth grade teacher at Pelham Park Middle School and an assistant coach for the school’s wrestling team, was charged with possessing child pornography. He was released from the Shelby County Jail after posting $15,000 bond, jail records showed.

….

Lewis was also youth director at Rock Mountain Lakes Baptist Church in McCalla.

The church said Lewis is no longer working there and that Lewis and his family “need our prayers in a major way.”

“This is a devastating moment for our church family, but I know God is working,” the church said in a message to parishioners on its Facebook page.

Rock Mountain Lakes Baptist released a statement yesterday, asking prayer for Lewis and his family. No mention was made of children portrayed in the alleged pornographic images.

rock mountain lakes baptist church
bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Update: Black Collar Crime: Catholic Church Volunteer Jeffrey Eisenbath Sentenced to 184 Months in Prison on Child Porn Charges

jeffrey eisenbath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Leonard Eley Indicted on Sex Crime Charges

pastor leonard eley

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.

Leonard Eley, pastor of Storm Shelter Ministries in Laurel, Delaware, stands accused of soliciting nude photos from a runaway child.

WHYY reports:

A Delaware pastor allegedly paid a runaway child for several nude photos of herself,  and authorities suspect he may have done the same with other minors.

Leonard Eley, 62, who heads Storm Shelter Ministries on U.S. 13 in the Sussex County town of Laurel, used $200 of church funds to pay the child electronically through CashApp, and paid her cell phone bill, authorities said in court records. The child, whose age was not disclosed, was a former member of the church, police said.

Only one alleged victim is specified in Eley’s arrest affidavit and indictment but Mat Marshall of the Attorney General’s Office said that based on interviews with witnesses, authorities suspect there are more victims.

Eley faces charges of sexual solicitation of a minor, two counts of possession of child pornography, and theft by false pretenses.

Laurel police began investigating in late July after calls to hotlines run by the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Division of Family Services that reported a child was possibly “being sexually trafficked.”

The pastor was arrested then just on the solicitation charge, and released on a $30,000 secured bond. A Sussex County grand jury indicted Eley on all four charges on Nov. 28, and this week authorities announced the alleged crimes in a news release.

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In one exchange, Eley told the girl she “has too much clothes on in one picture,’’ and asked her to remove some and send another picture. He added that he “is sending $50 on CashApp,” the detective wrote.

In another text exchange, Eley asked her to do the same thing, promised to send $150 this time, and that “no one will ever see the pictures but him,’’ the affidavit said.

Eley also asked her numerous times to “delete the messages” between them, Whitehouse wrote.

The child told authorities she did what he asked, and received $200, Whitehouse wrote, adding that he “observed CashApp receipts” sent from Eley to the child.

The indictment said the money came from “church donations made to the Storm Shelter Ministries CashApp Account.”

WHYY News reached Eley by phone Wednesday, but in response to queries, the pastor said “no” three times and then hung up.

Whitehouse wrote in the arrest affidavit that “pastor eley” was listed as a contact in the girl’s cell phone, and the number matched Eley’s number.

The girl’s phone also included a “selfie” photo sent from Eley’s number that matched his driver’s license picture, Whitehouse wrote.

Whitehouse reviewed several texts between Eley and the child, the affidavit said.

Ministry Watch adds:

When detectives confronted him, police said Eley confessed to asking and paying for the pictures. He told police he had PTSD from a traumatic brain injury he encountered in the military. He cited his PTSD as the reason he requested the pictures. Police said they captured Eley’s confession on a body cam.

Detectives said Eley instructed the victim several times to delete the conversations between them and made other lewd statements to her.

Storm Shelter Ministries was incorporated in September 2005, but its listed status is “unknown,” according to Bizapedia. The church’s Facebook page is currently unavailable.

The child is the only victim mentioned in Eley’s arrest affidavit and indictment, but based on interviews with witnesses, authorities believe there are more.

The Delaware DOJ continues seeking more information from the public and is asking for help identifying more victims.

Authorities released Eley from custody on a $30,000 secured bond. In November, a Sussex County grand jury indicted Eley on all four charges.

Eley remains out on bond as he awaits his court date. He has not entered a plea yet.

His arraignment will be in early January.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Mark Heotzler Receives Lengthy Prison Sentence on Child Pornography Charges

mark heotzler

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.

Mark Heotzler, a youth pastor at Grace Chapel Community Church in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, pleaded no contest to four counts of depicting child sex acts on a digital file, three counts of criminal solicitation to depicting child sex acts on a digital file, disseminating explicit sex material of a minor, and sexual assault by a volunteer or employee of a nonprofit. Heotzler received a combined sentence of 7 years 6 months to 15 years in prison followed by 14 years probation on child pornography-related charges involving 10 victims, all younger than 18.

The Herald reports:

Mark William Heotzler, 30, Chambersburg, Franklin County, was sentenced this month to a combined sentence of 7 years 6 months to 15 years in state prison followed by 14 years probation on child pornography-related charges involving 10 victims, all younger than 18.

Heotzler pleaded no contest July 27 to four counts of depicting child sex acts on a digital file, three counts of criminal solicitation to depicting child sex acts on a digital file, disseminating explicit sex material of a minor, and sexual assault by a volunteer or employee of a nonprofit.

A pastor at Grace Chapel Community Church stated in August 2021 that Heotzler worked at Grace Chapel as a youth minister from May 2014 to April 2019. The church cooperated with the criminal investigation.

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Heotzler was accused of crimes between 2015 and 2021, when state police said he made sexual advances toward minors and sent inappropriate images by text and over social media to juveniles, police said.

In the criminal complaint, police said Heotzler made sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy, by having the child remove all of his clothing and ride on Heotzler’s back.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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

Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor David Walther Charged with Possession of Child Pornography

pastor david walther

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 Walther, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Round Rock, Texas, stands accused of distribution, receipt, transportation, and possession of child pornography. Faith Baptist is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) congregation affiliated with the Baptist Bible Fellowship.

The Austin American-Statesman reports:

David Lloyd Walther, 56, of Georgetown, was arrested on Thursday and charged with distribution, receipt, transportation and possession of child pornography, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Walther told an FBI agent that “he had a pornography addiction and would often go through cycles ofdownloading and viewing pornography depicting both adults and minors,” the complaint said.

He also said that he would download child pornography files, “but would often feel guilty and go through a ‘purging’ of files, i.e., deleting the images and associated files, because he knew it was wrong, and that he last purged files on November 08, 2022, the night before the search warrants were served,” according to the complaint.

Walther was a pastor at the Faith Baptist Church in Round Rock for the past 18 years, said David Clawson, a deacon at the church.

“We regret anything along these lines that has happened,” Clawson said on Friday about the charges against Walther. “The church will continue to move forward as God has led,” Clawson said. He declined further comment.

“The criminal complaint alleges that Walther downloaded and made available child pornography using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network,” the release said. It said this happened when Walther, who is a Georgetown resident, was still a pastor.

When authorities searched Walther’s home and vehicle on Thursday, they found two large computer hard drives that contained child pornography, the release said.

Walther told authorities that he didn’t know he was sharing child pornography through the BitTorrent network and also apologized “for his actions,” the complaint said.

He said when he viewed the child pornography the children in it were between 8 and 17 years old, according to the complaint.

Law and Crime adds:

According to the affidavit, which Law&Crime is not sharing in this instance because of how detailed it is, the pastor had a “BDSM” folder containing an image of a nude boy with a collar on his neck and being sexually abused, a similar image of a female toddler, and images of nude young boys and girls being restrained by ropes and tools. A “Zoo” folder allegedly contained a bestiality video involving a dog and a female toddler “likely less than three years old.”

The feds allege that the defendant also downloaded several videos through BitTorrent showing young girls being sexually abused by adult men.

Walther has been scrubbed from his church’s website.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Youth Director Arnold DiBlasi Charged with Possessing and Distributing Child Porn

Arnold DiBlasi

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.

Arnold DiBlasi, a youth director at Holy Eucharist Parish in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and a grandfather, stands accused of possessing and distributing child pornography.

The Trentonian reports:

Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Evesham Township Police Chief Walt Miller have announced that a 71-year-old Marlton man has been charged with possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material.

Arnold DiBlasi, of the first block of Prince Charles Court, was charged with four counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (three First Degree and one Second Degree).

DiBlasi, who is the former youth group director at Holy Eucharist Parish in Cherry Hill, was taken into custody on July 26 at his residence following the execution of a search warrant. Electronic devices seized during the search will be examined by detectives from the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit. A preliminary review of DiBlasi’s cell phone revealed the presence of child sexual abuse material.

He was lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly and released following a detention hearing in Superior Court. The case will now be referred to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The investigation began in May after the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit received information regarding DiBlasi’s online activities from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation revealed that DiBlasi, utilizing an online chat room, distributed more than 11,000 files of child sexual abuse material to 30 people.

CBS adds:

DiBlasi worked with kids as youth director at Holy Eucharist Parish in Cherry Hill.

In a statement, Pastor Jason Rocks says officials assured him “no parish youth were involved in the materials, none of the activities took place on parish property, nor were any parish electronics used.”

Father Rocks also went on to say DiBlasi completed all required training and criminal background checks before being hired.

Sorry, Father Rocks. Your assurances carry very little, if any, weight on this site. We’ve seen too much.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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

Black Collar Crime: United Methodist Pastor Rick Haberland Pleads No Contest to Child Pornography Charges

rick haberland

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.

Rick Haberland, pastor of Oneida United Methodist Church in Oneida, Wisconsin, pleaded no contest last Friday to charges of child pornography possession. Haberland previously pastored United Methodist Church in De Pere, Suring and Hickory United Methodist Churches in Suring, Phillips United Methodist Church in Phillips, and Tabor United Methodist Church in Eden

The Post Crescent reports:

Rick E. Haberland, former pastor of Oneida United Methodist Church, pleaded no contest to all five charges Friday morning during a plea hearing in Outagamie County Circuit Court. A no-contest plea accepts a guilty verdict without admitting or denying any guilt.

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He was arrested in February following an investigation in response to a Cybertipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

During the course of the investigation, police linked Haberland with a Skype account and email address involved in multiple exchanges of child pornography.

On Feb. 23, police executed search warrants at Oneida United Methodist Church and Haberland’s nearby residence, during which they seized his phone. A digital forensic examiner estimated Haberland’s phone had more than 150 videos depicting sexual abuse of children, in addition to written statements about sexual abuse of infant to 12-year-old boys, according to a criminal complaint. 

During the search at Haberland’s residence, investigators found 1.2 grams of meth in his bedroom closet, the criminal complaint said.

Haberland was initially charged with 13 counts of possession of child pornography, but nine were dismissed.

Haberland’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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

Our Pastor Looked at Child Pornography and Took Inappropriate Pictures, but He’s a Really Nice Guy

father stephen pohl

I have known Stephen Pohl since the day he was born. I seriously doubt that these allegations will be proven. He said mass at my mothers [sic] passing and has been a friend to my family for over 50 years. It is painful because we are again seeing the pillory [sic] of another priest. Father Joe Hemmerly has been dogged by allegations all stemming from putting Lotion on the Sun Burn of a camper at the summer camp he ran. Many priests are unfairly targeted and I will be seriously surprised if these allegations pan out.

Father Stephen Pohl Supporter

Another day, another Catholic priest is arrested/charged/convicted of sexually molesting children. In August 2015, Stephen Pohl, 57, a pastor at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky was arrested and charged with the possession of child pornography. According to the Courier Journal, Pohl “admitted to accessing the pornographic images of nude underage boys on computers at the church rectory and office between January and August 2015.” In January, Pohl admitted his guilt and signed a plea agreement that could result in him spending 33 months in a federal penitentiary. Pohl would also be required to register as a sex offender and face a “lifetime of supervision by the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services.”

According to Courier-Journal report:

The federal case began after a 10-year-old St. Margaret Mary student told his mother that “Father Steve” singled him out at an after-school club to take a series of “weird” photos on his cell phone. The youth posed with his hands on his knees and legs spread apart, following the priest’s orders, according to the affidavit.

When the parents eventually confronted Pohl about the pictures, the affidavit details, they saw similar pictures of another child on the priest’s phone and reported it to law enforcement.

According to another Courier-Journal report, Louisville Metro Police Crimes Against Children Unit detective Dan Jackman is quoted as saying:

“One can clearly see up the child’s shorts and underwear,” Jackman wrote of one of the photos while another is “focused on the child’s genitals.”

You would think that St. Margaret Mary parishioners would be calling for Father Pohl’s head. Nope. According to WLKY, several Pohl supporters have written U.S. District Judge David Hale, asking him to be lenient when sentencing Pohl on March 29, 2016. After all, Pohl is “presently working with a psychologist. It has assisted me in understanding what is happening here.” What IS happening here? What is happening is that a Catholic priest is sexually attracted to boys and he got caught accessing internet child pornography. He also took photographs of young St. Margaret Mary boys. What more does anyone need to know? Pohl is a pedophile. Does anyone honestly think this was Pohl’s first time looking at child porn? Does anyone seriously think that he looked but didn’t touch? Not me.

While I don’t think Pohl should be locked away for life, I have serious reservations about any treatments that purport to “cure” pedophiles. If there is no cure, should men such as Pohl be permitted to roam free in public? Should they — after 20 hail Marys and 50 Our Fathers — be permitted to return to the church and have access to children? I hope not. Pohl should NEVER be permitted to be alone with children.

And what’s with those who write letters of support? I have noticed in other sex crime cases involving children/teenagers and clergymen that these predators always have supporters urging the courts to not be too hard on the convicted felon. Several years ago, Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, was convicted of a sex crime and sentenced to 12 years in prison. I was astounded by all the letters that were written in his support. Schaap’s supporters commented on this blog, suggesting that Schaap was not to blame for his crimes. He was tired, had medical problems, the girl seduced him, said Schaap supporters.

Why is it that many Christians are unable to see people as they are? I suspect the main reason is cognitive dissonance. On Sundays, members see nice, loving, kind, and supportive Father Pohl or Pastor Schaap. During the week, these “nice” men are surfing child porn sites or shagging church teenagers. Every year, hundreds and hundreds of “nice” preachers are arrested, charged, and convicted of sex crimes. How can these things be? cry church members. On Sundays, these men preached sermons, blessed the communion elements, and glad-handed with parishioners after services. During the week they visited the sick, cared for widows, and took groceries to the hungry. Everything about their lives said these are “nice” men. Yet, in the shadows of their lives, these men committed crimes that Christians and atheists alike find reprehensible. The cognitive dissonance is so great that parishioners convince themselves that their sexual predator pastors and priests are misguided and weak — but still “nice” men. Yet, when asked if they would let their children or grandchildren spend an unsupervised weekend with these men, I suspect most parents and grandparents would emphatically say, NO!

I have long argued that the Christian notion of atonement and forgiveness gets in the way of people seeing sexual predators as they are — men who prey on trusting, defenseless children and teenagers. No amount of prayers, magic mumbo-jumbo at an old-fashioned altar, or confessions can erase the fact that these men committed heinous crimes. They are not “nice” men. They are sexual predators who deserve punishment for their crimes. Let the mothers of convicted sexual predators tell the courts how “nice” their sons are. That is what mothers do. Church members, however, should spend their time helping the victims and making sure such crimes NEVER happen again. Louisville Catholics should be demanding a full accounting from diocese officials. What did they know and when did they know it? Were they aware of Pohl’s perverse desires? If they were, what steps did they take to make sure he no longer had access to parish children? As is the case in many Catholic parishes, sex crimes by priests are buried with the hope that they will remain so until the statute of limitations runs out. Just what Jesus would do, right?

In 2016, Pohl was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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

UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Josh Duggar Found Guilty of Child Porn Possession

josh duggar

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.

Earlier this year, Josh Duggar, of “19 Kids and Counting” fame, was accused of receiving and possessing child pornography.

CNN reports:

Former reality TV star Joshua Duggar has been arrested on federal charges related to the possession of child pornography, according to the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas.

Duggar allegedly downloaded material that depicted the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, the US attorney’s office said in a statement. Duggar allegedly possessed the material in May 2019.

Duggar, the oldest son of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, whose family was the subject of the TLC show “19 Kids and Counting,” faces two charges, the indictment shows — one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 if convicted, the statement said.

Duggar was arrested in Arkansas Thursday, according to the statement. He appeared in federal court Friday via video conference and pleaded not guilty to both charges.

In 2015, Duggar was accused of sexually molesting five girls, including some of his sisters. No charges were filed against Duggar.

The Daily Mail reports:

The arrest marks Duggar’s latest brush with the law after his father, Jim Bob, reported him to police in 2006 for allegedly molesting five young girls over multiple occasions back when he was 14 and 15. It took several years and a tip-off to local police that finally forced Jim Bob to report his son’s behavior to authorities.

Josh’s behavior was first discovered in March of 2002, when one of his youngest sisters went to Jim Bob ‘very upset and crying’. Josh admitted to touching her breasts and genitals while she was sleeping on multiple occasions.

In the report, Jim Bob said Josh was ‘disciplined,’ though didn’t reveal what the discipline entailed. 

But there were more incidents to follow after that. And it was revealed that Jim Bob decided to finally go to authorities after an anonymous tip was made to the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline about Josh’s behavior.

Finally speaking to police on Dec. 12, 2006, Jim Bob said when he learned about what his son was doing, he ‘met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on.’ 

They sent Josh to a Christian program that consisted of hard physical work and counseling from March 17, 2003 to July 17, 2003. 

It later emerged that the institute’s founder, Bill Gothard, was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting 34 women in 2014 and resigned shortly afterward.  

It wasn’t until May 2015, when the police report leaked in the media, that details of the accusations went public. The reality show was cancelled by TLC two months later. 

Duggar’s sisters, Jessa and Jill Duggar, have since claimed they were two of their brother’s alleged victims. 

Duggar later found himself caught up in the Ashley Madison scandal. The Daily Mail reports:

Months later, Duggar was rocked by another scandal when it was revealed that he had an account on Ashley Madison – the cheating website for married men.

He released yet another statement apologizing for cheating on his wife, saying: ‘I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the Internet and this has become a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.’

In December 2021, Duggar was found guilty and faces up to 20 years in prison.

US Weekly reports:

Josh Duggar has been found guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography just over one week after his trial began.

The former reality star, 33, was convicted on Thursday, December 9, on two charges of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material, according to local news outlet KNWA. He faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count. Sentencing will occur at a later date.

The political activist was previously arrested without bail on the child pornography charges in April. At the time, his attorney entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment and he was released on bond one month later.

“According to court documents, Joshua James Duggar, 33, allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas said in a press release following the arrest. “Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.”

Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar addressed their son’s legal issues in a statement to Us, saying, “We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: Methodist Pastor Jody Sambrick Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

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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.

Jody Sambrick, pastor of Hopeland United Methodist Church in Lititz, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty this week to child pornography charges and was sentenced to 1-2 years in prison.

Lancaster Online reports:

A West Lampeter Township man and former church pastor pleaded guilty this week to possessing child pornography in 2018, West Lampeter Township police announced Tuesday.

Jody Sambrick, 61, was sentenced to one to two years in prison plus eight years of probation upon his release, police said in a news release.

Sambrick, a former pastor at Hopeland United Methodist Church in Clay Township, will also be required to register as a sex offender for 25 years, provide a DNA sample and must undergo evaluation by a Sex Offender Assessment Board, among other conditions, said Sean McBryan, a spokesperson for the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

Judge Merrill Spahn accepted Sambrick’s negotiated plea on three counts of child pornography, two counts of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of disseminating photos of child sex acts and ordered the sentence Monday, according to court records.

….

Police and the DA’s Computer Crimes Task Force searched Sambrick’s residence in the 1700 block of Pioneer Road in September 2018, uncovering numerous images and videos depicting child pornography on computers and other electronics, according to the news release.

Sambrick was also previously an assistant tennis coach at Millersville University and started a coffee roasting business in 2013, according to previous reporting.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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

Bruce Gerencser