Church youth leader accused of computer crimes

Church youth leader accused of computer crimes

A Maryland youth pastor has been accused of child pornography possession. The 35-year-old man allegedly committed computer crimes by sharing illegal images. Officers say they found thousands of illegal images. Those included pictures of babies and children being raped. The defendant is accused of possessing and distributing the material over the Internet. The man led a youth group at a church in Phoenix, Maryland.

Authorities are attempting to identify the children in the photos. The National Center for Missing and Exploiting Children is assisting. The man is currently in custody on a $150,000 bond.

There is not any evidence that the man abused any children at the church. The man is also not accused of abusing the children in the images at this time. Church officials say they have used a special policy to protect the children in the youth group. No minor may be alone with an adult unless all doors to the room are open. Further, people employed by the church may not have a criminal history of any sexual misconduct. Officials are confident that the man was never given access to abuse the children.

News reports have not indicated the number or nature of the charges the man faces. Reports do imply, however, that the man could face a massive prison sentence if convicted. Such Internet crime defendants may be able to benefit from the assistance of a qualified attorney. Criminal defense lawyers can help protect defendants’ rights in court. It is important to remember that an arrest for Internet crime such as child pornography does not mean the defendant is guilty. Every defendant deserves a fair and unbiased legal proceeding.

Source: The Christian Post, “Md. Youth Pastor Charged With Child Porn After Police Allegedly Seize Images of Raped Babies Found on Computer” Jessica Martinez, Jan. 14, 2014

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