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Tag: Steve Greisen

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Filmmaker Steve Greisen Pleads Guilty to Criminal Online Solicitation with a Minor

Steve-Greisen

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.

Steve Greisen, a notable Evangelical moviemaker and contemporary Christian music (CCM) artist, pleaded guilty to a criminal attempt to commit online solicitation with a minor, a class 4 felony.

The Gazette reports:

An El Paso County man and Christian filmmaker who was arrested in September for allegedly attempting to pay an undercover El Paso County detective to engage in sexual acts with a 14-year-old girl entered a plea agreement in court Tuesday.

Stephen Paul Greisen, 68, pleaded guilty to a criminal attempt to commit online solicitation with a minor, a class 4 felony. Within his agreement, Greisen agreed to register as a sex offender in the state of Colorado, and five years in the state’s Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Program (SOISP). 

According to the arrest affidavit, Greisen made contact with the undercover officer on Sept. 7, and despite being informed twice that the age of the girl was 14, he agreed to pay $170 for sex.

“K, I can be there in 20 min?” Greisen wrote to the detective to confirm. 

After arriving at the address given by the undercover detective, Greisen was arrested by authorities with $180 in his pocket, according to the affidavit.

Court records show Greisen was originally arrested on suspicion of three charges: inducement of child prostitution, patronizing a prostituted child and sexual assault on a child. He was released from El Paso County jail after posting the $35,000 bond. 

Greisen operated two Christian film companies in Monument, Exploration Films Distribution, and Reel Productions, LLC, and is considered a “veteran of the Jesus movement’s 1970s-era music scene,” according to an article from Ministry Watch

Ministry Watch adds:

Steve Greisen, a Christian filmmaker and a veteran of the Jesus movement’s 1970s-era music scene, pled guilty Wednesday in Colorado Springs to a criminal attempt to solicit online sex with a minor.

In a plea deal, Greisen agreed to register as a sex offender and spend five years in Colorado’s supervision program for sex offenders. He had been arrested on charges for inducement of child prostitution, patronizing a prostituted child and sexual assault on a child, with a possible prison sentence of 12 years.

The plea deal was reported by The Gazette. Greisen’s attorney, Richard Bednarski, did not respond to MinistryWatch’s requests for information and comment.

As MinistryWatch reported, Greisen was arrested Sept. 7 after arranging to pay an undercover detective $170 to have sex with a 14-year-old girl. The arrest came amid efforts by local and federal officials to “identify and arrest child sexual predators.”

Greisen, who is 68, runs two Christian film companies from Monument, a small town north of Colorado Springs: Exploration Films Distribution, which says it manages distribution of over 400 films; and Reel Productions, which released “First Love,” the acclaimed film on the early years of the contemporary Christian music movement, as well as biblical the biblical thriller, “The Mystery of The Ark of The Covenant.”

….

He was a singer for the 1970s Christian band, The Family, which toured with Second Chapter of Acts in 1976. In 1978 he married Second Chapter’s Nellie Ward, and for the next decade he served as that group’s tour director.

Greisen had been involved with Christian ministries both in Colorado Springs and around the country. He was also involved in founding and leading Holy Smokes, a national movement of small groups of mostly men who gather for “Faith, Friendship, Fine Tobacco & Drink.” Though not a formal, legal entity, Holy Smokes has more than 5,000 members in a Facebook group with the goal of “deconstructing harmful theology and building beloved community one cigar at a time.”

In the past, Greisen had been featured in videos and podcasts by ministries including Summit Ministries, the Colson Center, and Moody Audio. Those resources, along with Greisen’s Holy Smokes podcasts, have been withdrawn without explanation.

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