Tag Archive: Voyeurism

Black Collar Crime: Methodist Youth Worker Robbie Shugert Accused of Sex Crimes

robbie shugert

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.

Robbie Shugert, a youth worker at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Portsmouth, Ohio and a public school teacher, stands accused of various sex-related crimes involving teen boys.

WSAZ-3 reports:

Boyd Robert “Robbie” Shugert, 24, was arrested on sex-related charges involving teenage boys.

He has been a teacher in Scioto County, as well as a youth group volunteer and volunteer with an area choir.

According to deputies, Shugert solicited for sex acts and took naked photos of teen boys while they were sleeping and in the restroom stall.

Detective Jodi Conkel said most victims didn’t even know.

“They were shocked. I was the one that had to tell them that that took place.”

Conkel said a concerned parent came forward on Easter Sunday.

Shugert was arrested by deputies in a restaurant parking lot in Rosemount. He believing he was meeting a 15-year-old boy for a sex act and was willing to pay $200. But it reality, Conkel said had been messaging back and forth with her on Snapchat.

Since his arrest became public Monday, “we’ve had multiple victims come forward. They’re multiplying,” Conkel said.

Shugert was hired in the fall as a math teacher at Clay High School.

Superintendent Todd Warnock declined to be interviewed but said Shugert’s on unpaid leave. He has until noon on Wednesday to resign.

Deputies believe, at this time, no criminal acts took place on school grounds or because he was a teacher. One parent said he was well liked.

Shugert allegedly met his victims through volunteer positions, one with a local choir and as a youth group volunteer with Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Portsmouth.

“When you have an adult, a person like that, that person preys on children. They’re good at that,” Conkel said. “That’s what they do. These kids, they’re victims. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Cornerstone Pastor Tim Roth said Shugert has been a longtime attender there, on the church’s praise team and youth group volunteer for the last three to four years.

“We were shocked and saddened and stunned to hear of Robbie’s arrest,” Roth said.

Roth said church policy requires two adults at all times at youth group functions.

….

Shugert later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seventeen years in prison.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Donald Biggs Pleads Guilty to Sex Crime

donald biggs

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.

Donald Biggs, youth pastor at Mtn. Church in Medford, Oregon, pleaded guilty Friday to “one count of transporting with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.”

The Mail Tribune reports:

A former Medford youth pastor faces 10 to 15 years in prison after admitting he secretly recorded a juvenile in a bathroom.

In a U.S. District courtroom in Medford filled with youths, parents and church leaders he betrayed, Donald Courtney Biggs, 39, pleaded guilty Friday to a single felony count of transporting with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The guilty plea spares Biggs, formerly a youth pastor at Mtn. Church in downtown Medford, and dozens of victims Biggs allegedly recorded in secret, from a weeks-long trial that was set to start later this month.

In his green Jackson County Jail uniform, Biggs made no statements and avoided eye contact with the audience. No victims made statements during the hearing, but U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken told victims she will allot as much time as needed to accommodate them at a sentencing hearing currently set for June.

Biggs has remained lodged in the jail since January 2015 following an investigation of inappropriate texting with minor girls in the church, according to earlier news reports.

The reports of inappropriate texting with minor girls led investigators to find recordings of adult and juvenile women in various stages of undress, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Potter, who is prosecuting the case.

The single charge specifies that Biggs recorded a juvenile exiting the shower during a March 2013 church trip to Huntington Beach, California, Potter said. As part of the negotiated agreement, nine other transportation and child pornography charges were dropped.

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Outside the courthouse, Mtn. Church lead pastor and founder Jim Wright expressed a mix of anger, faith in the justice system and the need for forgiving hearts as he supported victims and parents. At his services last weekend, after recent news updates brought feelings about the case back to the surface, he cautioned his congregation not to let healthy anger become bitterness.

“I’ve been walking these families through this for three years,” Wright said, adding later that children in his congregation, many now young adults, “have had to walk through incredibly deep valleys.”

Wright also expressed frustration, which he said was mostly for the families, that Biggs dragged out his case since early 2015. He said he believes Biggs pleaded “under the notion of a deal, not a contrite heart.”

Though Wright put his congregation’s feelings of betrayal far ahead of his own, Wright said Biggs had been someone he trusted. Biggs had been Mtn. church staff for roughly six years, but Wright had known Biggs for close to two decades. Wright started Mtn. Church 11 years ago.

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On February 7, 2018, the Mail Tribune reported:

Three years after a Medford church burglary sparked the seizure of dozens of videos of minors undressing inside his home, a former youth pastor is scheduled to stand trial on child pornography charges in federal court later this month.

A judge denied a motion Tuesday to reschedule Donald Courtney Biggs’ Feb. 26 trial, according to filings in U.S. District Court in Medford. Dozens of witnesses will be called to testify against the former Mtn. (Mountain) Church youth pastor in a trial anticipated to last two weeks.

Recent filings by U.S. attorneys provide new details in the case against Biggs, 39, alleging he secretly took videos of minor girls changing at his home during church events and on church trips to California between June 2012 and March 2014. Biggs faces nine counts of using or attempting to use a minor to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct, and three counts of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The more than 40 witnesses federal prosecutors intend to call include minors Biggs had been tasked with supervising at church activities, their parents and church employees.

Minors who participated in church activities are anticipated to testify that Biggs often encouraged “messy” activities or pranks that would require kids to change or shower during church activities, and would advise girls to bring a change of clothes, according to prosecutors. At church camps, Biggs allegedly would design “punishments” such as covering a kid in syrup and flour.

Minor girls and minor boys would use different bathrooms, and boys were often ostracized or isolated from the group, court documents allege.

Other witnesses U.S. attorneys have interviewed describe one-on-one meetings between Biggs and minor girls at the church and coffee shops, the documents say. Biggs would pick up minors from school to take them to lunch without parents’ knowledge or consent, would give girls back and shoulder rubs, would instruct girls to lie to their parents about where they were going, and would buy them clothes, the documents claim. Biggs allegedly texted some girls several times a day with phrases such as “love you to the moon and back,” “You are beautiful,” “I love you” and “Missed you last night,” according to court documents.

Inappropriate text messages sparked the investigation, according to a document filed Monday.

At the end of November 2014, police first investigated Biggs following a report of inappropriate texts between him and a minor, but police prematurely closed the investigation without reading the messages after the victim’s father told police there was nothing wrong.

Police reopened the inquiry Dec. 26, 2014, when the church relayed a letter from a victim’s grandparent alleging Biggs used “coercion techniques,” saying at different times he’d buy the girl clothing, solicit photographs or tell the girl “she made him sad or made him cry.” Biggs allegedly used software to wipe the contents of his phone before submitting the device to a digital forensic search, according to court documents.

When confronted, Biggs allegedly threatened that the church “would go down in flames” if they got him in trouble, according to a church employee prepared to testify. The church placed Biggs on leave by the beginning of January 2015.

Medford police arrested Biggs Jan. 15, three days after he triggered the church’s burglary alarm allegedly to steal computer hard drives. During police questioning, prosecutors say, Biggs made admissions that shifted investigators’ focus toward recordings.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Mitchel McCaskell Accused of Secretly Recording Church Women

mitchel mccaskell

Mitchel McCaskell, a pastor (church elder) for The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, has been accused of secretly recording church women using the toilet and showering.

Thomasi McDonald, a reporter for The News&Observer, writes:

Police are trying to determine whether a Wake Forest pastor used his church computer to download photos and videos of female congregation members he’s charged with secretly recording.

Investigators on Monday obtained a search warrant to review the digital files of an Apple laptop computer that belongs to The Summit Church in Durham. The computer was used by Mitchel Rivers McCaskell, 31, who worked at the church until he was fired on Sept. 18, “due to grievous, immoral actions, which involved filming three women who were unaware that their personal privacy had been violated.”

McCaskell’s firing was followed by criminal charges last week, when investigators charged him with two felony counts of peeping using a photographic imaging device. He was taken into custody at the Wake County jail and released the same day after posting a $7,500 bond, a jail spokesman reported.

Investigators have accused McCaskell, the married father of of a toddler daughter, of using his cell phone camera to secretly record two women who visited his home along and a third woman during a mission trip to the Middle East, according to a search warrant made public at the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office.

McCaskell confessed to videotaping the women to members of the church’s leadership staff after one of the alleged victims, who also works at the church, reported an incident that she said happened at McCaskell’s home in late July, according to the search warrant.

McCaskell claimed to have deleted all of the videos, according to a second search warrant application made public Thursday.

The church’s leadership staff first focused on the Apple laptop after the victim on the overseas mission trip told them that she found McCaskell’s phone in a bathroom set up as if to record her. The woman also told the church leaders that McCaskell downloaded his photos from the trip to his Summit Church Google Drive and used the Apple computer to perform the task, according to the search warrant.

The church’s information technology specialist searched through the files of the laptop and reported that he did not find any pornographic material or any evidence related to the secret recording of the three woman. But the IT specialist did notice during his examination of the computer that the device had been linked to several Cloud-based storages, including Google Drive, Apple iCloud and Drop Box, according to the search warrant.

The IT specialist also reported that he looked into the accounts and found “numerous photographs and other digital media” that were easily accessible by McCaskell’s laptop.

The Apple computer was the only one used by McCaskell, said J.M. Hale, a Wake Forest detective.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Benoni Enciso Charged With Sex Crimes — Twice

pastor benoni enciso

Benoni Enciso, youth pastor at Stutsmanville Chapel in Harbor Springs, Michigan, was charged in March 2017 with “six counts, including possession of child sexually abusive material, two counts of surveilling an unclothed person, two counts of using/installing an eavesdropping device, and using a computer to commit a crime.”

Justin Hicks, a writer for Mlive, reports:

A Northern Michigan man is facing felony charges after he was accused of recording two female teens showering at his Boyne City home.

Benoni Jonathan Enciso, 49, has been charged with six counts, including possession of child sexually abusive material, two counts of surveilling an unclothed person, two counts of using/installing an eavesdropping device, and using a computer to commit a crime.

He is being held at the Charlevoix County Jail on a $50,000 bond. He is due back in Charlevoix Circuit Court on March 17 for an arraignment, where he can enter a plea.

Enciso had a family come stay at his home for the weekend of February 18-19, according to Police Chief Jeff Gaither. He knew the family, having served as the teens’ youth pastor at Stutsmanville Chapel in Harbor Springs.

During the weekend stay, an 18-year-old female noticed a cell phone was recording her when she stepped out of the shower. Further investigation determined that the phone had also captured video of her 15-year-old sister, police said.

Gaither said the teens confronted the homeowner and learned he set up the phone to record. They then reported the incident to their parents, who notified police on Feb. 21.

Enciso was arrested later that day.

The Boyne City man was an administrator at the Harbor Springs church during the time of the incident. He has since been removed from the “Staff” section of the church’s website.

In a statement, the church said, “At the time of his hiring, Mr. Enciso was not listed on a sex offender registry, nor did he have a criminal record.

….

After pleading guilty to the aforementioned sex crimes, Enciso was arrested again and charged with similar crimes in another Michigan county.

Blayke Roznowski, a reporter for 9 and 10 News writes:

A former youth pastor who already admitted to child sex crimes in Charlevoix County was in court again for similar crimes in Emmet County.

9 & 10 News had the only camera in court as Benoni Enciso was arraigned on several charges for recording girls as they undressed when they stayed with him.

In Boyne City in February, a girl found an iPhone recording her in the bathroom when she visited her former youth pastor, and turned it into police.

Enciso pleaded guilty to those five child sex crime charges and is set to be sentenced next week in Charlevoix.

….

Wednesday in the Emmet County courtroom Judge James Erhart arraigned Benoni Enciso, also known as Jon, on more than 20 different child sex crime charges that includes both possessing and producing child sexually abusive material and using a computer to do so.

The court documents paint a disturbing picture.

“The Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office came across some other videos that they knew it didn’t happen in Charlevoix,” Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said.

That evidence was turned over to Emmet County in March.

They determined Enciso recorded four videos and made close to 150 images of four girls undressing at a Bay View home he was renting between July and September 2015.

“Apparently he was a friend and trusted and was familiar with the family,” Sheriff Wallin said. “It’s a serious violation and it was an invasion of privacy for both the victims and the families themselves.”

Court documents say the former youth coordinator of the Stutsmanville Chapel admitted to hiding an iPhone, taking video and enhancing the images for sexual purposes.

….

Update

Up North Live reports:

The former Emmet County youth pastor who was already sentenced to four years in prison was sentenced in a second county.

Benoni Enciso was sentenced Monday in Emmet County to 54 months to seven years on the four convictions of using a computer to commit a crime and two years to five years on the four convictions of capturing an image of an unclothed individual. The sentences for the computer crime will run consecutive to the sentences for capturing an image.

In Charlevoix County, Enciso was sentenced in May to up to four years in prison after admitting to taking videos of underage girls in the shower.

Enciso was the youth pastor at Stutsmanville Chapel in Harbor Springs.

Black Collar Crime: Lutheran Pastor Terry Herzberg Accused of Photographing Up Secretary’s Skirt

pastor terry herzberg

Terry Herzberg, pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hackettstown, New Jersey, was charged today with “invasion of privacy and criminal attempt at invasion of privacy.” Gethsemane Lutheran is affiliated with the Missouri Synod — a Fundamentalist sect.

Peggy Wright, a staff writer for the Daily Record reports:

The former pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church was charged Thursday with invading the privacy of his secretary by secretly taking pictures and videos up her skirt while she was working.

After an 11-month investigation, town police on Thursday charged now-retired Rev. Terry Herzberg, 66, of Tannersville, Pa. with invasion of privacy and criminal attempt at invasion of privacy. Herzberg was charged after turning himself in at the Warren County courthouse in Belvidere, where he was expected to make a first appearance before a judge, according to a release from Hackettstown Sgt. Darren Tynan.

Herzberg is accused of attempting to photograph up the victim’s skirt while she was sitting at her desk between Nov. 5, 2013 and June 27 of last year. He also allegedly took videos up his secretary’s skirt on multiple occasions while she was sitting and standing, according to the release.

The alleged victim, whose identity is not being released by the Daily Record, first alerted police on June 27, 2016 that she had observed Herzberg – then the pastor at the church on E. Baldwin Street – taking photos of her intimate body parts while she was working.

….

A search warrant was issued and electronics from the church and the reverend’s home were seized. While the investigation was pending, the victim, a Flanders resident, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court, Morristown in November 2016 against Herzberg and the church.

The lawsuit charges that the church violated the state’s Law Against Discrimination and that Herzberg’s conduct interfered with the secretary’s job performance and “created an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.”

The lawsuit said the woman left the job because she could not work in that environment.

….

The victim’s lawsuit said she was hired in July 2010 to work as administrative assistant to Herzberg and the director of the church’s preschool, and that she often worked alone with Herzberg, who was her immediate supervisor and the highest-level employee of the church.

The lawsuit said that Herzberg routinely made sexually provocative comments about her appearance, clothing and weight and once gave her a card that said she was sexy.

In May 2016, the complaint said, Herzberg asked the woman to call up a document on her computer. He stood directly behind her and she noticed that he was holding an object over her head which he quickly stuffed into his pants pocket, the lawsuit said.

“When plaintiff returned her attention to the computer, she again perceived something above her, looked up and observed Herzberg taking photographs of her chest. Plaintiff became very upset and strongly objected to his behavior,” the lawsuit said.

On June 27 – the day the victim last worked at the church – she wore a skirt to work and while standing in her office felt Herzberg’s presence behind her. She turned, according to the lawsuit, and saw the pastor holding a camera and straightening himself up from behind her.

Moments later, the lawsuit said, Herzberg returned to the secretary’s office and she sensed his presence behind her. She turned around and spotted him holding a camera under her skirt taking pictures, the lawsuit said.

….

Working with police, the woman called the pastor and he allegedly admitted taking photographs underneath her skirt and doing the same to others, the lawsuit said.