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Tag: Sexual Exploitation

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Josh Henley Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of Minor

josh henley

In June 2021, Josh Henley, a former youth pastor at Washington Avenue Church of Christ in Evansville, Indiana, was arrested on three counts of statutory rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery.

Tristate Home Page reported at the time:

Josh Henley, 32, of Newburgh was arrested in Benton County, Tennessee on three counts of statutory rape. He’s also charged with aggravated sexual battery.

Authorities say there are at least three teenage girls who are confirmed as victims. Henley is being held in the Benton County Jail on a $500,000 bond and will be arraigned tomorrow.

Investigators believe there may be more victims in other states, including Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Eyewitness News contacted Evansville Police, the Vanderburgh County Sheriff and the Warrick County Sheriff. They told us they do not have anything in their system about Henley.

Court documents say Henley is currently employed at Washington Avenue Church of Christ in Evansville. Officials at the church declined to comment at this time.

After Henley’s arrest, Washington Avenue Church of Christ fired him: The church released the following statement:

On behalf of our entire church family, the Eldership at Washington Avenue Church of Christ is praying for accountability, healing and justice in light of the recent arrest of Joshua Henley who served as our youth minister for the past three months. Mr. Henley’s employment with the church has been terminated effective immediately and he has been relieved of all duties and responsibilities. We take the allegations against Mr. Henley very seriously and will fully cooperate with law enforcement in connection with all investigations. We are heartbroken by this news and our prayers are with all involved.

ABC-24 reports:

The U.S. Department of Justice said in 2018, Henley was pastor at Holladay Church of Christ in Benton County and coached Holladay Elementary School’s girls’ basketball team. In April 2021, they said he took a position with a church in Evansville, Indiana. Then in June 2021, he drove back to Tennessee to pick up a girl, taking her back to Indiana to “help with his Vacation Bible School there.” Prosecutors said Henley had sex with the girl who had just turned 15. They said the girl told them that Henley had been engaging in sexual activity since she was 13, and asking her to take sexually explicit pictures to send him through a chat app.

Investigators said in 2020, another 15-year-old girl in Evansville said Henley asked her to send sexually explicit pictures to him.

Henley was arrested in June 2021 as he was driving the first girl back to Tennessee. Investigators said after getting a warrant for his cell phone, they found sexually explicit pictures of both girls, and video of Henley having sex with a third girl in November 2020, who had just turned 14.

Today, Henley pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced for his crimes in August.

ABC-24 reports:

A Tennessee pastor and girls’ basketball coach has pleaded guilty to child exploitation charges.

Joshua Henley, 33, who has lived in Benton County, Tennessee, and Evansville, Indiana, is set to be sentenced in August after pleading to charges of producing sexual abuse material involving three minors, transporting a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity, sending obscene videos and images to a minor, and possessing and transporting child sexual abuse material.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Presbyterian Youth Pastor Ronnie Barron Charged With Sex Crimes

ronnie barron

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.

Ron “Ronnie” Barron, a youth pastor at Loris First Presbyterian Church in Loris, South Carolina, and a volunteer baseball coach at the local high school, stands accused of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual battery with a 17-year-old student from Loris High School.

WMBF reports:

A Loris High School coach was arrested on Monday morning after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Ronnie Barron Jr. is charged with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual battery with a student.

Loris Police Chief Gary Buley says this whole investigation started after a parent found some disturbing images on their child’s phone and brought that phone to the police department.

“That’s how it all started,” said Buley. “The parent of the victim came in after observing the juvenile’s phone and noticing some activity that shouldn’t be going on.”

After an investigation, information was obtained and arrest warrants were issued for Barron.

Horry County Schools said the suspected relationship may have originated outside of school.

The school district added that Baroon was a volunteer baseball coach at Loris High School and has been a volunteer coach in the district since December 2020.

As of November 4, 2021, he is no longer affiliated with Horry County Schools, according to the district.

WMBF News also discovered that Barron was a youth director at the First Presbyterian Church in Loris. The church sent WMBF News a statement on Barron and the investigation:

“We have been made aware of the recent allegations of inappropriate conduct by our former youth director and have reported them to the appropriate authorities. The church leadership immediately accepted his resignation. We are cooperating in their investigation to the best of our ability. Given that this is an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further. We would welcome you to join us in prayer for all the involved individuals.”

“Nothing came out from the church,” said Buley. “It was definitely solo with the victim, that we’ve seen so far.”

After a month-long investigation, Loris Police arrested Ron Barron and charged him with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, which carries up to ten years in jail.

He is also charged with sexual battery with a student.

Barron’s church bio states:

We are pleased to have Mr. Ron Barron join the staff and congregation of Loris First Presbyterian Church. Ron comes to us from Epiphany Lutheran Church in Conyers, Georgia where he served as the Director of Youth and Family Ministry. During his time there, Ron sought to encourage a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through teaching Sunday School, hosting devotion times, and engaging the youth in service projects, fundraisers and team building events. He also involved himself in the community and coached baseball for Salem High School and the Conyers American Legion.

Ron brings to Loris a passion and energy to serve and follow Jesus Christ through ministry to the youth of Loris First Presbyterian and the community. As Youth Director for LFPC, Ron will be involved in all aspects of youth ministry from kindergarten age through young adult. Ron’s view of ministry as relational will lead to many group projects and team events as he encourages young people to explore their role as disciples and future church leaders. This teaching for discipleship and leadership involves disciplined scripture study but also an active faith demonstrated in evangelism, missions, and random acts of kindness.

When he is not working, Ron can be found fishing or enjoying the great outdoors with his sons **** and *****, and daughter, *****.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor Brett Monroe Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison for Sexual Exploitation of a Child

pastor brett monroe

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.

Brett Monroe, associate pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) congregation –was arrested in December 2019 and charged with the sexual exploitation of a child. In January, Monroe pleaded guilty. On Tuesday, Monroe was sentenced to 293 months in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child.

STL News reports:

Federal agents executed a search warrant at Monroe’s residence on December 11, 2019.  Monroe admitted to agents that he used his cellphone to create secret recordings of a minor female victim while she showered at his Arlington, Texas home.  According to court documents, Monroe converted the video into still images which he saved in an online storage account.

At sentencing, an agent testified that Monroe admitted to sending, receiving, and trading child pornography online for years to fuel his pornography addiction.  He also confessed to surreptitiously recording multiple other minor victims showering in his residence.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Paxton Singer Charged With Sexual Exploitation

paxton singer

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.

Paxton Singer, a youth pastor for Harvest Bible Chapel in Aurora, Illinois stands accused of sexually exploiting a 16-year-old church boy.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

Singer was charged with misdemeanor sexual exploitation of a child and disorderly conduct, according to court records, which say he “knowingly enticed a person under 17 years of age to remove their clothing for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the defendant or the child,” asked the boy about his sexual habits and invited him to spend the weekend with him.

Singer is accused of sending the text messages between October 2016 and August 2017 after first meeting the teen when he attended an event at the church’s campus in Aurora, where Singer worked at the time, according to a news release from the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

….

A statement from Harvest Bible Chapel said Singer was “involuntarily terminated for cause” on Jan. 7 “related to incidents that required (Department of Children and Family Services) notification,” and that DCFS was alerted the same day.

School and church officials and employees are required by law to alert authorities if they become aware of a claim or abuse against a child.

The church also said that “parents related to (Singer’s) ministry on multiple campuses were also informed by email on January 7, 2018.”

A DCFS official said the charges filed against Singer this week did not result from the January report but from a second report made months later.

“In June of 2018, DCFS received a hotline report and began an investigation involving Paxton Singer for the allegation of sexual exploitation,” Bret Angelos, an attorney for the agency, wrote in an email response to questions from the Tribune. “The DCFS child protection investigation was completed in October 2018, and Paxton Singer was indicated for sexual exploitation.”

Church officials said they made three separate reports in January related to alleged inappropriate actions between Singer and three individuals.

“Three incidents related to the former employee in question were all reported to DCFS during the second and third week of January 2018. Further contact between our staff and DCFS beyond that time period were follow-up related and did not involve any new incidents,” Scott Milholland, Harvest Bible Chapel’s chief operating officer and senior executive pastor, said in an email response to questions from the Tribune.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor David Pugh Pleads Guilty to Sex Crimes

pastor david pugh

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.

David Pugh, the pastor of First Assembly of God in Phillipsburg, Kansas, pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a child and sexual exploitation of a child. The court sentenced Pugh to thirty-two months in jail. Pugh resigned from First Assembly in May 2017.

Bruce Gerencser