Menu Close

Tag: Voyeurism

Black Collar Crime: PCA Worship Leader Chad Robison Sentenced to Eleven Years in Prison

chad robison

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.

In 2017, Chad Robison, worship leader for Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto, Florida, was arrested and charged with “three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition, specifically intentionally masturbates live over a computer online services knowing that the transmission is viewed by victim less than 16 years of age; 1 count of knowingly promoting sexual performance by a child; and 3 counts of Video Voyeurism for own use.”

Fox-17 reported at the time:

Florida deputies arrested a former worship director early Thursday morning after finding thousands of sexual pictures and videos of young girls and filming them in his bathroom without their knowledge.

According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, 36-year-old Chad Robison was arrested on several sex charges including video voyeurism and lewd and lascivious exhibition.

Back in May, a coworker alerted detectives about inappropriate videos on Robison’s laptop. Shortly after, he was fired as worship director at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church.

Investigators found more than 3,000 videos and 350,000 pictures on his laptop with hundreds featuring young girls performing virtual sex acts with Robison.

Deputies said Robison also filmed young girls using the bathroom in his home without their knowledge. The videos range anywhere from several years old to some made just a few months ago.

“We believe there could be multiple victims. Some may be local here in Citrus County, and others across the states and abroad,” Capt. Brian Spiddle said. “It’s going to be a very difficult and long process to find those who have been victimized by this man.”

Several victims are out-of-state including some as far away as Canada and New York.

“I commend the detectives that have been working on this case,” Citrus County Sheriff Prendergast said. “We’ve just scratched the surface and already we know there are several victims out there. I’m so proud of this unit and what they’ve done to bring charges against this very sick man.”

Robison was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition, specifically intentionally masturbates live over a computer online services knowing that the transmission is viewed by victim less than 16 years of age; 1 count of knowingly promoting sexual performance by a child; and 3 counts of Video Voyeurism for own use.

His bond was set at $26,000.

Seven Rivers Presbyterian is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America — a Fundamentalist Christian sect.

Robison later pleaded no contest in July to 48 felony counts ranging from promoting sexual performances by a child and possessing child pornography to transmitting harmful materials and video voyeurism.

In August 2018, Robison was sentenced to eleven years in prison for his crimes.

The Citrus County Chronicle reported at the time:

Chad Robison lived two lives.

In the other, the 37-year-old Hernando man spent years stockpiling illicit images and recordings of teenage girls he seduced online, and of unsuspecting women he videotaped at their most vulnerable times.

The latter of Robison’s lives, which he kept secret from his family and congregation at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, earned him a prison sentence Monday.

After hearing a couple hours of testimony from either Robison’s supporters or prosecutors at Robison’s Monday morning sentencing, Circuit Court Judge Richard “Ric” Howard ordered Robison to serve 11 years in prison, followed by 11 years of probation.

Robison wept beside his attorneys as Howard delivered his punishment, which also carries a lifetime sex-offender designation.

Robison’s family, churchgoers and other supporters, who took up half of Howard’s courtroom, surrounded and comforted Robison’s wife, Alexandra, who cried as bailiffs escorted her husband away.  

Robison’s sentence came after he pleaded no contest in July to 48 felony counts ranging from promoting sexual performances by a child and possessing child pornography to transmitting harmful materials and video voyeurism.

Prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office claim Robison’s crimes date back as far back as 2012.

Howard, who had looked over roughly 220 screen captures and other evidence authorities seized from Robison’s laptop computer, told Robison he was not just appalled by what he saw but also by how Robison was reacting when he interacted with his victims online. 

“It’s enough to make some of these people run for the streets,” Howard said. “The enthusiasm of your sexual deviance, your sexual interests is something that cannot be overlooked.”

….

Before he was sentenced, Robison extended an emotional apology to his victims, his community and his church.

“I understand I have caused this community great pain; I have brought pain, I have brought fear, I have brought anger,” Robison said at his sentencing. “I recognize it, I take full responsibility and if anyone ever wants to talk to me, I will lay at their feet and give them my full repentance.”

Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, where Robison produced Christian music as a worship director since 2011, would not comment on the sentencing.

Robison’s defense team, made up of Charles Vaughn and Gilbert Schaffnit, said Robison’s sex addiction diagnosis — brought on by years of childhood abuse — was to blame for his double life, and warranted rehabilitation, not incarceration.

“He’s not a risk to re-offend,” Vaughn told Howard.

Assistant State Attorney Blake Shore and Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast recommended Howard hand Robison the maximum 25 years.

“What we’re here today for is punishment … we’re not here because of a sex addiction, we’re here because of what he’s done to the little girls and women,” Shore said.

“He took advantage of innocent children and left invisible scars that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives,” Prendergast added.

Detective Chris Cornell, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office’s lead investigator on Robison’s case, testified to sorting through Robison’s cache of unlawful materials, which were first discovered in May 2017 when Robison’s co-workers tried to play a prank on him.

Cornell said Robison selected his victims by visiting several video chat websites and searching for girls between the ages of 10 and 15, who he would then ask to undress for him or perform other sexual acts with him online.

“He’s a textbook online predator … he’s the one we warn our children about,” Cornell said, adding Robison would lie about his age and use photos of teenage boys as his own profile picture to mask his identity.

Cornell said investigators were able to locate a few of Robison’s victims, one of whom provided a written statement about her online exchanges with a persistent Robison during the summer of 2016, when she was 14 years old.

“I told him I was too young for him and he was begging me not to skip him,” the girl said in a letter read aloud by Assistant State Attorney Erin Leathers.

….

Robison also tried to take inappropriate photographs of girls and women in public, Cornell said, adding Robison was able to videotape women as they used his bathroom.

One woman, who was a member of the church, said Robison used hidden cameras to record her as she changed into different outfits to model in for Robison and his wife.

Alexandra Robison testified she didn’t know what Robison was doing to their models or online.

“The moment he told me everything, I didn’t believe it because it wasn’t him,” she said. “A few of those people were my friends and I was very upset.”

Alexandra Robison said she chose to remain with her husband because of the humility he showed when his addiction crippled him, and the dedication toward his remorse and rehabilitation.

“Chad has hit rock bottom and further … and he’s hit every stride,” she told Howard. “It wouldn’t do me any service or my child any service … for him to go to jail. … I don’t want to see my child grow up without a father.”

Robison’s lawyer says he is not a risk to re-offend. Really? I mean, really? sigh

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

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: Baptist Pastor Stephen Brown Accused of Voyeurism

voyeurism

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.

Stephen Brown, pastor of Seven Lakes Baptist Church in Stanwood, Washington and a teacher at Arlington Christian School in Arlington, Washington, stands accused of voyeurism. A USB drive allegedly belonging to Brown was found in Arlington Christian’s parking lot. The drive contained up-skirt videos of several of Brown’s students. According to KIRO-7 News, there are hundreds of videos that investigators are going through, hoping to identify other victims.  Brown’s bond was set at $100,000.

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.

….

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.

….

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.

….

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.

….

Bruce Gerencser