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Tag: Child Pornography

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest W. Thomas Faucher Arraigned on Child Pornography Charges

w thomas faucher

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.

W. Thomas Faucher, a Catholic priest with the Diocese of Boise, has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child, distributing sexually exploitative material involving children, and felony drug possession.

The Idaho Statesman reports:

Hundreds of images of child pornography and drugs including marijuana, ecstasy and LSD were found in the home of a retired Boise priest, a prosecutor said at a Monday court hearing.

Longtime Catholic Rev. W. Thomas Faucher, 72, was brought into court in a wheelchair Monday evening for his arraignment on 14 different charges.

Most of the crimes involve Idaho’s law against child pornography: He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, and two counts of distributing sexually exploitative material involving children. His last two charges are both for drug possession. All of the charges, except one of the drug counts, are felonies.

….

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Kassandra Slaven offered more context Monday. She said some images on Faucher’s computer involved young children, including infants and toddlers. The images included children being subjected to different sexual acts and torture, she said.

Slaven also described email conversations where Faucher reportedly traded images and talked about his “sexual interest in children.” She said Faucher has a “very sophisticated knowledge” of exchanging and viewing child pornography. And in certain chats investigators viewed, she said, he expressed a desire to molest children. One such chat screen was open on his computer when police served the search warrant, she said.

Faucher talked in the chat about his “desires to rape and kill children,” Deputy Prosecutor Cathy Guzman said at a probable cause hearing earlier Monday.

Judge Michael W. Lojek ordered Faucher held on $250,000 bond — half of what Slaven sought — and directed him to have no contact with any children under 18. He is also forbidden from using the internet.

Faucher’s attorney, Mark Manweiler, argued that his client should be released, pointing to Faucher’s lack of criminal record and “impeccable reputation.” Manweiler said the priest answered five hours’ worth of questions from police, and said there has never been a claim of abuse or impropriety aimed at Faucher despite the “tens of thousands” of children his client has been around.

Manweiler also argued against the no-contact order. He said Faucher was expected to have many community members visit after leaving jail, and he did not want his client to unintentionally violate the order if visitors brought a child with them.

“(Faucher) is well-liked and well-known,” Manweiler said. “He counts among his good friends people at the highest level of both branches, both of state government and our local government and some judicial officials here in Ada County.”

….

Faucher grew up in Boise and attended Saint Mary’s as a child. He was ordained in Boise on June 4, 1971, and returned here in 2002 to serve at Saint Mary’s. He joined Saint Mary’s just one month after revelations that a deacon there had viewed child porn.

Faucher has long criticized the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse by its priests. Earlier in 2002, while based at Sisters, Oregon, he told one gathering that the church was looking the wrong way at incidents of molested children, and that Cardinal Bernard Law “should resign” for the events eventually documented in the 2015 movie “Spotlight.”

….

 

 

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Church Volunteer Jeffrey Eisenbath Charged With Possession of Child Porn

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.

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

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

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.

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Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Gerald Hechenberger Accused of Possessing Child Porn

gerald hechenberger

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.

Gerald Hechenberger, associate pastor of Holy Childhood of Jesus Catholic Church and school in Mascoutah, Illinois, stands accused of possessing child pornography.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports:

The associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah was taken into police custody Monday morning, according to the state’s attorney.

The priest was identified as the Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger.

“We have been working with Belleville (Police) and the task force for several weeks and we anticipate they will be submitting evidence collected pursuant to a search warrant we issued within the next 48 hours to be reviewed for charges involving Gerald Hechenberger,” St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said.

Earlier in the day, Belleville Police issued a statement saying a Mascoutah resident was identified as being in possession of child pornography, but the police statement did not identify the resident. A police captain confirmed that Belleville police officers were at the church at 419 East Church St. around 7 a.m. Monday.

A statement from Bishop Edward K. Braxton said Hechenberger was taken into custody by St. Clair County authorities, but did not say why.

“This is a very serious matter for Father Hechenberger,” the diocese statement said. “At this point, the diocese has no reason to believe that any parishioners are affected by this matter. The diocese is awaiting an update on information from the civil authorities, and has assured them of the diocese’s full cooperation.”

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Holy Childhood School parents received an email Monday morning from the Principal Claudia Dougherty, saying Hechenberger was being investigated.

“Good morning, Father Jerry is under investigation. We will share more information when we have it. Your children are safe and sound — primary children are enjoying lunch! Blessings, Claudia,” the email read.

The email, sent at 10:51 a.m., followed a previous message from Dougherty sent at 8:15 a.m., which read, “Good morning, the Belleville police are at the rectory/church. I was notified that they were there, however was not informed as to why. Your children are here, they are safe and sound. Please know that we keep a close eye on all of them! Blessings, Claudia.”

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In 2011, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported:

The priest at St. John the Baptist parish in Smithton abruptly took a leave of absence last week to address “very serious personal, pastoral and legal challenges,” according to a letter circulated by the Belleville Diocese.

The letter, obtained by the Post-Dispatch, said the Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger spoke with Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton and agreed the temporary leave was necessary. The letter, sent to priests and deacons, didn’t directly state the source of the challenges.

“In the present climate, it is important for you to know that the serious matters we are addressing do not involve the abuse of a minor,” wrote the Rev. John McEvilly, the diocese’s vicar general.

It added: “It will probably be several months before it can be determined when or if Father Hechenberger will be able to return to parish ministry.”

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The Daily News reports:

A Catholic priest with a checkered history was arrested on child pornography and drug charges.

Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger of the Holy Childhood Catholic Church in Mascoutah, Illinois, was arrested on Monday morning and held on $2 million bail.

Acting on a tip from the Attorney General’s task force, police seized electronic devices at the church and found multiple photographs and a video involving children under the age of 13.

“It is unknown at this time if Hechenberger produced any of the images himself, or if he has had any inappropriate contact with children directly,” the Belleville police said, adding that parents with suspicions regarding the priest’s behavior should contact authorities.

Hechenberger, who was charged with eight counts of possession and eight counts of disseminating child porn, was also found with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

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Hechenberger was charged with drunken driving in 1983 and driving under the influence in 1989, although both charges were later dismissed.

In 2004, Hechenberger pleaded guilty to trespassing after he was found shirtless in a parking lot, according to a police report cited by the News-Democrat.

On January 20, 2018, Hechenberger’s superior, Bishop Edward K. Braxton, issued the following letter:

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with all of you!

I am writing to you concerning the very sad and distressing event of the departure of the Reverend Gerald R. Hechenberger, who had served as Associate Pastor of your parishes from August 15, 2014 until I relieved him of his positions on January10, 2018. Since he was arrested, taken into custody by law enforcement authorities, and charged with multiple felonies having to do with the possession and dissemination of inappropriate images of children and the drug crystal methamphetamine on January 8, 2018, I have been praying for all of you. I have been praying in a special way for anyone who may have been adversely affected directly or indirectly by his behavior. I am praying for Father Hechenberger as well. I am deeply sorry for the distress that these events may have caused you and your families, especially your dear children.

I am aware that you may have questions about many aspects of this scandalous event. I will answer some of your questions in this letter. However, I cannot answer all of your questions because, like you, I do not know the answers. For, example, like you, I do not know what the eventual legal consequences of all of this will be for Father Hechenberger. The Diocese has assured civil authorities of its full cooperation. I write not from a legal perspective but from the perspective of your Bishop. I write with a genuine pastoral concern for the personal and spiritual wellbeing of each of you and everyone in the Diocese of Belleville. For this reason, counselors have already been made available to the communities involved. I have also informed Father Wienhoff that I would be happy to meet with him and representatives from your parishes to listen to your observations and discuss these matters further, if that would be beneficial.

First, I must assure you that neither I, nor my Vicar General, Monsignor John W. McEvilly, nor your Pastor, Reverend Paul R. Wienhoff, nor any Diocesan personnel had any knowledge that Father Hechenberger had inappropriate images of minor children in his possession before the morning of his arrest. We have no record of any allegations of any prior possession of such materials. His files do not contain any expressions of concern in this regard from priests, parishioners, parents, or staff members and any of his previous pastoral assignments. We have no documents suggesting any past misconduct with minors. Our records show that he was compliant with our Diocesan Child Protection Policy through September 19, 2017, when his refresher course expired. Compliance includes clear background checks conducted by the Department of Child and Family Services, specific to child abuse allegations (CANTS) and a name­based criminal investigation through the Illinois State Police. None of his prior leaves of absence or sabbaticals were related to allegations of inappropriate conduct with minors.

Second, because of the serious charges filed against him, I have placed Father Hechenberger on Administrative Leave from ministry when I terminated his pastoral assignments. I further instructed him not to exercise the ministry of the Priesthood at any time in any place. Nor may he present himself in public as a Priest. Therefore, he is not to wear clerical attire including the Roman collar.

Third, when I met with Father Hechenberger at the St. Clair County Jail on Tuesday morning, January 16, 2018, he asked me to express to all of you how deeply remorseful he is for the pain, confusion, frustration, and anger that he has caused you and everyone in the Diocese. He specifically asked me to tell you that he has never physically harmed or abused a child in any circumstance throughout his years of ministry. He wanted me to assure you of his prayers for you and he asks that you pray for him as well. Obviously, considering the seriousness of his offense, he is aware that some of you might find his expressions of sorrow and regret to be insufficient to warrant your forgiveness, or even your prayers.

Fourth, when something of this nature happens, it is only natural to think that surely someone must have known that this was happening or at least that it was a possibility. But we all know that there is no fool­proof way of knowing what misdeeds a person might commit, even if they are receiving counseling for unrelated matters. Every human being is quite complex and some individuals might be unaware themselves of things they might do in certain circumstances.

Finally, I am aware that events such as this, involving only one priest, have the potential of casting a cloud of suspicion or mistrust over other priests. I ask you to remember that we are all redeemed sinners who must make every effort to avoid judging others. Please renew your support, concern, encouragement, appreciation and affection for all of our priests who serve you so unselfishly in this Diocese. Pray for them as well, as they pray for you at every Mass.

In this Sunday morning’s gospel, Jesus proclaims: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” We all, priests and people alike, need to hear and heed these words, today more than ever.

Let us all pray for one another!

A March 1, 2018 Belleville News-Democrat report states:

Almost two months after a Mascoutah priest was accused of possessing child pornography and drugs, parents and church members say they’re frustrated they haven’t received answers from the Belleville Catholic Diocese.

Specifically, they want to know whether any local children were abused — and to what extent the diocese knew about the Rev. Gerald Hechenberger’s troubled past when they assigned him to Mascoutah.

The community also asks why the diocese won’t provide answers.

On Jan. 9, Hechenberger, former associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church and School in Mascoutah, was charged with possessing and distributing child pornography and possession of methamphetamine.

“I think it would be a good idea to explain why this man was passed along and say, ‘why did you do that?’ and not just leave us in the dark,” said Sandra Parks, a former Holy Childhood school board member. “I just wish Bishop Braxton would explain why, in the light of these problems, you would retain and pass the problems along to the next place.”

Bishop Edward K. Braxton did not respond to repeated requests for comment from the BND.

Hechenberger also declined a request for an interview. He has been freed on $25,000 cash for bond after a judge lowered his original $2 million bail.

In response to the charges, a lifelong friend of Hechenberger’s, Anne Hannigan of Belleville, said Hechenberger has a drug problem and blamed the church for not helping the priest with his addiction.

“I think this is a high-tech crucifixion,” Hannigan said in an interview. “They said terrible things about Christ and they said terrible things about Gerald Hechenberger. Furthermore, the church cannot wash their hands in this blame game and the tragedy which has occurred in his life.”

Hannigan, who said she’s been friends with the priest for 40 years, said the church knew of Hechenberger’s alleged drug problem about five years ago and did not offer him help in fighting his addiction.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Minister Owen Robertson Accused of Sexually Exploiting a Minor

owen robertson

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.

Owen Robertson, education minister at First Baptist Church in Easley, South Carolina, has been charged with “nine counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.”

Mike Ellis, a reporter for the Independent Mail, writes:

Owen Robertson, a former education minister at Easley First Baptist Church, has been charged with nine counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Warrants allege that the images investigators found show minors “engaging in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity” and the incidents occurred at the same address as the church. Robertson has not been on staff at the church since approximately March, when the church became aware of “issues,” said Nelson Ponder, a deacon who spoke on the church’s behalf.

Ponder said he could not detail what issues led to the separation, but he said the church became aware Friday that Robertson had been formally charged. Robertson had been at the church for several years, Ponder said.

He said church leaders will be listening to their congregation for any reports of Robertson’s conduct, but he has not heard from anyone as of Wednesday morning.

The warrants indicate that the alleged crimes happened on or about Feb. 10, and the warrants were signed on DeC. 14. The warrants say the images were in Robertson’s possession.

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According to Robertson’s bio on First Baptist’s website:

Dr. Owen Robertson grew up in Greenville, SC, where he attended Mauldin First Baptist. He graduated from Mars Hill College, Southwestern Seminary, and Southern Seminary. Owen loves acting, writing, reading, going to movies, and spending time with his family. He secretly dreams of one day owning a humongous television and a catamaran. Owen uses his gifts to communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ in new and creative ways.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Ryan Crawford Accused of Sex Crimes

child image on first baptist church website
Picture of children on First Baptist Church’s Youth Page. I wonder if this is what Pastor Crawford’s photos looked like.

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.

Ryan Crawford, assistant pastor, choir director, Sunday school director, youth/teens director at First Baptist Church in Pineville, Missouri, stands accused of having “illicit and inappropriate photographs of a young female on his cell phone.”

KOAM-7 reports:

A 32-year-old Youth Pastor Pineville, Missouri, man is arrested after a report to the local police department alleging he had illicit and inappropriate photographs of a young female on his cell phone. Initially, the investigation of Ryan Crawford was conducted jointly by the Pineville Police Department and the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office.

The children were referred to the Children’s Center in Joplin, MO, and subsequent to those interviews, Crawford was interviewed by the investigator of the McDonald County Prosecutor’s office. During that interview, Crawford made statements that were corroborative of the allegations against him.

Prosecutor Bill Dobbs initially filed charges of child molestation in the first degree, a class A felony, and sexual misconduct in the first degree, a class E felony. However, based upon additional allegations, the initial complaint has been amended to reflect an additional four (4) counts of child molestation in the first degree, bringing the total number of felony counts to six. These acts allegedly occurred in Crawford’s home.

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A January 30, 2018 Joplin Globe report states:

A Pineville man waived a preliminary hearing Monday on child molestation charges and was ordered bound over for trial.

Ryan D. Crawford, 32, waived the hearing in McDonald County Circuit Court on five counts of first-degree child molestation and a single count of sexual misconduct with a child. Associate Judge John LePage set Crawford’s initial appearance in a trial division of the court for Feb. 26.

The defendant was arrested on the charges in December following an investigation by Pineville police and the McDonald County Sheriff’s Department of a report that he had illicit photographs of a minor on his cellphone.

A probable-cause affidavit states that Crawford had told of having “had a porn problem” and that he had been “watching” porn on his cellphone. The McDonald County prosecutor later indicated in a news release that an unspecified number of suspected child victims were interviewed at the Children’s Center in Joplin before an interview of the defendant in December when he allegedly admitted having touched a child younger than 14 inappropriately while she was sleeping.

The affidavit states that the defendant further acknowledged that his addiction to pornography and related misconduct with children had been “going on for a long time.”

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Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Felix Broussard Still Awaiting Trial on Child Porn Charges

pastor felix broussard

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.

Felix Broussard, pastor of St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana is still awaiting trial on child pornography charges. According to a previous news report, Broussard “repented” after every time he looked at child porn [the blood of Jesus making pedophiles and sexual predators “clean” for 2,000 years].

Ken Stickney, a reporter for The Daily Advertiser, writes:

The Rev. F. David Broussard, charged 16 months ago with 500 counts of possession of child pornography, may yet get his day in court.

But it didn’t happen Monday in 16th Judicial District Court in St. Martin Parish, where he was scheduled to appear before Judge Vincent J. Borne. Broussard’s name was called in court simply as “Felix Broussard,” but he did not appear before the judge after court officials scoured the courtroom to see if the defendant was present to stand. Court officials said they were not fully certain why Broussard was absent.

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A priest for more than two decades, Broussard was arrested in July 2016 after a repair technician discovered more than 500 images of child sex abuse on Broussard’s personal computer. Broussard had brought the computer in for repairs and the technician, after discovering the images, was required by law to report the crime.

Broussard had been assigned to St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge at the time of his arrest; he was also chancellor at the church school.

A police investigation revealed the images were on Broussard’s computer for about two years. None of the images were of local children, authorities said.

On the weekend after his arrest, Broussard sent a letter of apology to his parishioners by way of Most Rev. Douglas Deshotel, bishop of Lafayette, who offered Masses at St. Bernard that weekend and read the letter to parishioners.

Nonetheless, Broussard personally entered a plea of not guilty to the possession of child pornography charges in May before Judge Paul de Mahy.

At his arrest, Broussard was suspended from his priestly duties by Deshotel. Church law says sex with minors is a sin of adultery and are considered criminal. If he is convicted, the church could convene a tribunal for Broussard, and remove him from the priesthood.

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In August 2016, KATC-3 reported:

The Breaux Bridge priest arrested on child pornography charges told investigators he knew viewing the images was wrong and that he “‘repented’ after every episode,” according to an arrest warrant obtained by our investigative team.

Father David Broussard was arrested on July 27 on 500 counts of child pornography after images allegedly were found Broussard’s computer. The images included both male and female children ranging in age from infancy to 12 years old, and included photos of children involved in sexual activity with other children and adults, according to the arrest affidavit.

During an interview with investigators, Broussard allegedly admitted that he used the computer to search and view child pornography.

The computer was found at Broussard’s office or living quarters at St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church, where Broussard was a priest, according to the affidavit.

Investigators examining the computer learned that it had be used from July 2014 to July 2016 to search for child pornography. Genealogy searches for the surname Broussard were also made on the computer in close proximity of searches for child pornography, according to the arrest affidavit.

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The initial report in the case of David Broussard, the priest arrested on child pornography charges, indicates State Police were initially contacted by the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office on July 15. The State Police Special Victims Unit found that multiple searches for child pornography were made on Broussard’s computer between July 2014 and July 2016, the document states.

The computer was “personally owned” by Broussard. The desktop had more than 500 images of child sexual abuse saved, the document states.

The computer was located a Broussard’s living quarters at the St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge where he was pastor.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor James Johnson Enters Alford Plea on Sexual Battery Charges

busted

James Johnson, associate pastor of Mountain Valley Baptist Church in Martinsville, Virginia, was convicted and sentenced to eleven years in prison for sexual battery and distributing child pornography.

Paul Collins, a writer for the Martinsville Reporter, reports:

A former Henry County associate pastor will spend 11 years in prison, as his sentence in a child pornography case.

James Arthur Johnson, who had previously served as associate pastor at Mountain Valley Baptist Church, had been convicted June 30 of the charges, including four counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of distributing child pornography. At the time, the 58-year-old entered an Alford plea in Martinsville Circuit Court. In an Alford plea, a defendant maintains his innocence but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution likely could convince a judge or jury to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution nolle prossed (dropped but could reinstate) five other charges of aggravated sexual battery against Johnson at that time.

The charges stem from incidents that took place between April 2014 and February 2015 at Johnson’s residence in the 200 block of Martinsville and then in the 200 block of Pine Street, after he moved. The victim, who was 12 to 13 years old at the time, said Johnson would inappropriately touch her when she visited his house. Johnson was a friend of the girl’s family and their neighbor for part of that time. Johnson would also have neighborhood boys visit him at times and, according to the testimony, would instruct them to inappropriately touch the girl as well. The girl testified that at the time, Johnson said he would hurt her if she told anyone what was going on.

Johnson also filmed the girl touching herself and then showed the video to another person between Jan. 1, 2015 and July 28, 2015.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, the victim, now 16, read a letter she wrote about how she had been traumatized and suffered some mental health issues. She said she knows now not to trust people like Johnson and added that she hopes he burns in hell.

Keith Fender, testifying as an expert in sexual offender treatment, said one concern he had when evaluating Johnson is that the man is not convinced he needs treatment. The evaluation, Fender said, showed that Johnson has pedophilic disorder. That refers to adults who have a sexual desire for young children.

Johnson’s lawyer, Roscoe Reynolds, called several people who testified as character witnesses for his client. They described Johnson as a good worker, reliable, of good conduct to their knowledge, someone who helped and encouraged other people, active in church and preached in nursing homes. Several of the witnesses said they were shocked to learn of the charges against him. Johnson’s sister also testified, saying that he has some serious health issues and asked the judge to take that into consideration. Prior to this case, Johnson also had no criminal record.

….

Greer sentenced Johnson to 85 years in prison, with 74 of those suspended under conditions including indefinite supervised probation and good behavior for life. Greer also ordered Johnson to register as a sex offender upon release from incarceration.

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 Worship Leader Chad Robison Caught with Child Porn

chad robison

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.

Chad Robison, worship leader for Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto, Florida, was arrested Thursday and charged with “three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition, specifically intentionally masturbates live over a computer online services knowing that the transmission is viewed by victim less than 16 years of age; 1 count of knowingly promoting sexual performance by a child; and 3 counts of Video Voyeurism for own use.”

Fox-17 reports:

Florida deputies arrested a former worship director early Thursday morning after finding thousands of sexual pictures and videos of young girls and filming them in his bathroom without their knowledge.

According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, 36-year-old Chad Robison was arrested on several sex charges including video voyeurism and lewd and lascivious exhibition.

Back in May, a coworker alerted detectives about inappropriate videos on Robison’s laptop. Shortly after, he was fired as worship director at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church.

Investigators found more than 3,000 videos and 350,000 pictures on his laptop with hundreds featuring young girls performing virtual sex acts with Robison.

Deputies said Robison also filmed young girls using the bathroom in his home without their knowledge. The videos range anywhere from several years old to some made just a few months ago.

“We believe there could be multiple victims. Some may be local here in Citrus County, and others across the states and abroad,” Capt. Brian Spiddle said. “It’s going to be a very difficult and long process to find those who have been victimized by this man.”

Several victims are out-of-state including some as far away as Canada and New York.

“I commend the detectives that have been working on this case,” Citrus County Sheriff Prendergast said. “We’ve just scratched the surface and already we know there are several victims out there. I’m so proud of this unit and what they’ve done to bring charges against this very sick man.”

Robison was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition, specifically intentionally masturbates live over a computer online services knowing that the transmission is viewed by victim less than 16 years of age; 1 count of knowingly promoting sexual performance by a child; and 3 counts of Video Voyeurism for own use.

His bond was set at $26,000.

Seven Rivers Presbyterian is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America — a Fundamentalist Christian sect.

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Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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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Bruce Gerencser