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