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.
John Hackmann, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Marion, Illinois stands accused of soliciting child pornography.
Reverend John S. Hackmann, Jr., 45, was charged with child pornography and intimidation.
The Williamson County sheriff said on Monday he had bonded out of the Williamson County Jail.
According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, Hackmann’s preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 19.
Court documents state Hackmann solicited a teen to get lewd photos of female friends that are her age. He’s accused of threatening to show the teen’s mother a private video of her and boyfriend.
Frank J. Beard, Bishop of the Illinois Area, The United Methodist Church, released the following statement:
Conference leadership has been notified of the arrest Thursday by Williamson County authorities of the Rev. John S. Hackmann II, 45, pastor of Marion First UMC.
In the best interest of all concerned, Rev. Hackmann has been temporarily relieved of his pastoral duties while an inquiry is made into the circumstances which led to the arrest.
An interim pastor will be assigned to serve Marion First during this time. It is our intention to cooperate with the criminal investigation as it unfolds.
The judgment of guilt or innocence regarding the criminal charges will come through that process. Our responsibility is to care for the welfare of the people involved and of the Church.
Please join us in prayer for Rev. Hackmann, his family, all parties involved and this congregation as we move forward guided by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
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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