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Tag: Ridgecrest Baptist Church Springfield

Black Collar Crime: Baptist Worship Leader Craig Wieneke Charged With Distributing Child Pornography

craig wieneke

Craig Wieneke, assistant worship leader for Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri, has been charged with “receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.”

KY-3 reports:

A federal grand jury indicted a former music director of a church in Springfield for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet. The charge against Craig Wienke [sic], 31, of Springfield, was unsealed on Monday after being handed up on June 13.

Wienke [sic] made his first court appearance on Monday. He remains in jail pending a detention hearing on June 22. A judge put him on an accelerated track for trial, which could be held as early as Aug. 21.

Investigators believe Wienke [sic] received and distributed child pornography over the Internet between last Nov. 10 and April 4. Wienke [sic] was music director at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield in that period.

The FBI, the Springfield Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case. It’s part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

KSPR-33 adds:

Craig Wienke [sic], 31, is charged with distributing and receiving child porn online. The executive pastor says he was the assistant worship leader at Ridgecrest Baptist Church.

Church leaders say Wienke [sic] worked at the church while kids were present but did not work with them directly. They say none of the children at the church are involved in the case against him.

Church leaders say they fired Wienke [sic] in April when they found out about the investigation. They say had no way to tell ahead of time.

“Everyone gets a thorough background check,” said Executive Pastor Wayne Barron. “For Craig, he had just never, there was no record there because he had never had any issues with the law regarding this. So he’d been through all the process, and we’ll continue to do that.”

Bruce Gerencser