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Tag: Pandering Obscenity

Jaycee Riley, Convicted of Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor and Forgiven by Jesus. Should He be Trusted?

Jaycee Riley

In 2021, Archbold, Ohio resident Jaycee Riley was indicted on forty counts — twenty counts each — of pandering obscenity and illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance. In April 2022, Riley pleaded guilty to ten counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor. He was sentenced to thirty-three days in jail by Fulton County Common Pleas Court judge, Jeffrey Robinson. Robinson ordered Riley to register as a sex offender. Yep, thirty-three days in jail. Nothing says how seriously we take child pornogpraphy than a sentence like this one.

The Archbold Buckeye reported at the time:

Jaycee Riley, 48, Archbold, was sentenced in Fulton County Common Pleas Court on Thursday, April 21, to 33 days in jail, with work release, on 10 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor.

He was initially indicted on Dec. 20, 2021, on 40 counts– 20 counts each– of pandering obscenity and illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance.

He was indicted under the secret indictment process, so his name and the charges weren’t released to the public until after his arrest.

He was arrested the following day, Dec. 22, at 9:27 am, at the home of a friend on Gaslight Drive.

Riley was arrested by a Fulton County sheriff deputy with the assistance of an Archbold police officer.

He was taken to the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio.

He was released two days later on $25,000 bond. 

Riley appeared in Common Pleas Court Friday, Feb. 25, for what was billed as a pretrial conference.

Instead, during that hearing, he entered guilty pleas to 10 of the pandering charges. The remaining 30 charges were dropped.

His bond was continued, and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. 

As part of the jail sentence to be served at CCNO, Jeffrey Robinson, Fulton County Common Pleas Court judge, granted Riley three days credit for jail time served.

Riley must pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs, and was placed on five years of community control.

In addition, a press release from Scott Haselman, Fulton County prosecuting attorney, said Riley was ordered to continue treatment with the Center for Child and Family Advocacy in Napoleon and successfully complete any recommended treatment and aftercare.

He is not to possess any pornographic materials, comply with a 10 pm-6 am curfew, have no unsupervised contact with minors, and to have no relationship with anyone with minor children.

Riley is not to use any camera, computer, or cell phone with internet capabilities and is not to use social media.

Riley was found to be a Tier II sex offender.

Tier II sex offenders must register their addresses with the sheriff of the county in which they reside and verify their address with the sheriff every 180 days for 25 years.

Failure to abide by the conditions of his sentence could lead to a prison sentence of six to 18 months for each count. 

Recently, documents were released on social media (which have since been removed from Facebook) that revealed troubling details about Riley’s case and his involvement with Pettisville Man Cave Ministries. There seems to be some sort of a connection between Pettisville Man Cave and Pettisville Missionary Church in Pettisville, Ohio, though I could not ascertain if there was an official connection. (Polly and I attended Pettisville Missionary on and off in 2005-2006.) I do know that some of the men involved with Pettisville Man Cave attend Pettisville Missionary — an Evangelical congregation. I was also unable to determine whether Riley attends Pettisville Missionary, or any church, for that matter. That said, what troubles me are some of the comments people associated with Pettisville Man Cave made about Riley, his crimes, and how Jesus and the Man Cave are the “cure” for what ails him.

According to Scott Rupp, the leader of Pettisville Man Cave Ministries:

I believe Jaycee knows what he did was wrong. He is showing great remorse to us and I don’t believe it is an act… I know this is going to be a long path for him, whatever the outcome, but I do believe the men at PMCM can help continue to point him to Jesus and help keep him accountable.

Corey Ruffer, a longtime friend of Riley’s, (and someone I have known for years) added:

[Jaycee] takes complete ownership of his mistakes and has demonstrated great remorse for his past decisions.

Wynn D. Roth had this to say:

I believe that he [Jaycee] is aware that what he has done is not acceptable, and is remorseful for this behavior. I know that he is a very introspective person, and is being very hard on himself. I do not feel that he is a danger to society in any way.

“He knows what he did is wrong.” “He’s remorseful.” “He’s taken complete ownership of his mistakes.” “He’s not a danger to society.” These statements, of course, have Evangelical theological undertones:

  • All humans are sinners
  • Jesus shed his blood on the cross to provide atonement for sin
  • Forgiveness of sin is available to anyone who puts his faith and trust in Jesus Christ
  • Jesus will forgive us of our sins, no matter what we do
  • No matter how many times we sin, Jesus will forgive us and wipe our slates clean
  • No sin is beyond Jesus’ grace and forgiveness

Riley has made things right with God, and now, through the help of Pettisville Man Cave Ministries, he plans to stay on the straight and narrow. With Jesus and the Man Cave by his side, Riley is a “new” man. If only it were that simple. The recidivism rate for sexual predators, especially those who have harmed children or were involved with child pornography is high. It is naive to think that trusting Jesus and attending a men’s group will magically cure Riley. He needs help, and I hope he will get it. Secular help. Professional help. Science-based help. Therapeutic help.

Wynn Roth says that Riley is not a danger to society in any way. How can he possibly know this? A gut feeling? Is Roth monitoring Riley’s behavior 24/7? Of course not. No one can know for sure whether Riley will re-offend. I hope not, but he should not be trusted around children — ever. I don’t think for a moment that this was a one-off “mistake.” Most sexual predators and viewers of child pornography have been doing so for years. Rarely do they get caught the first time. That’s why we must use the force of law to protect children from offenders.

Since 2017, I have published almost 1,000 stories in the Black Collar Crime Series. These stories report crimes committed by clerics and other church leaders. One of the common themes in these stories is the naïveté that permeates many churches. People find it hard to believe that their pastors could rape someone, sexually molest children, or be involved with child pornography. And even after their pastors are convicted and sentenced to prison, congregants still have a hard time believing these so-called men of God are criminals or are “evil.” Corey Ruffer, a man I admire and respect, said that Jayee Riley made “mistakes.” Not sins. Not heinous crimes. Not evil behavior. Just mistakes. I have yet to read a statement from anyone associated with Pettisville Man Cave Ministries calling Riley’s crimes what they really are: evil. Anything or anyone that sexualizes children for the purpose of sexual gratification is evil.

I am sure I will hear from locals after this story is published. I will amend it when I do.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 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