In the past 20 years, hundreds of Southern Baptists with formal church roles have engaged in sexual misconduct, a new investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News reveals. They were pastors. Deacons. Youth pastors.
Read and hear survivors’ stories, and learn about the depths of crimes and misconduct of church leaders they trusted. This database contains information on 263 people who were convicted or took plea deals.
LINK TO DATABASE
Part One: 26 Pedophiles, Child Sex Traffickers and Child Porno perverts, a Video Recording Peeping Tom Pervert Pastor, a SBC Pastor Murderer and a Former SBC President moralist busted for hiring prostitutes
These are taken from the database.
John Earl Bonine Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Fresno County, 2009
Outcome: Sentenced to 36 years in prison in California. Incarcerated.
News Story https://abc30.com/archive/6755416/
Police/Court Records https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5017938-CA-Bonine-JohnEarldoc.html
Kenneth Eugene Ward Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Dallas County, 1999
Outcome: Admitted to molesting more than 40 children, but the Texas statute of limitations had expired for all but one complaining victim. Convicted of indecency to a child by contact and served four years of a 12-year sentence. Dead. Included on a list of church leaders convicted of sex crimes published in 2007 by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
News Story https://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=3034040&page=1
Matt Dee Baker Church Position:Pastor
Court of Conviction: McLennan County, 2010
Outcome: Was convicted in 2010 of murder for asphyxiating his wife. A related wrongful death investigation conducted as part of a civil lawsuit by his dead wife’s family — and subsequent criminal probe — revealed that Baker had engaged in a long pattern of sexual abuse and assaults of women. Incidents of violence and harassment had been reported by women at Baker’s former church, at a nonprofit where he worked and at Baylor University for years before Baker began an extramarital affair with a congregant and then plotted to kill his wife, records show. Incarcerated on a 65-year sentence in Texas.
News Story https://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=7252064
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4853035-Baker-Matt-TDCJctdocs.html
Dirk P Jackson Church Position: Teacher/Pastor
Court of Conviction: Kitsap County, 2011
Outcome: Registered sex offender in Kitsap County, Wash. Sentenced to 41 months in prison in 2011 after pleading guilty to two counts of indecent liberties with a child. Unclear how much time he served.
News Story http://archive.kitsapsun.com/news/code-911/ex-pastor-from-port-orchard-sentenced-for-sexual-acts-with-12-year-old-ep-418270967-357121071.html
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5017934-WA-Jackson-DirkPsof.html
Larry Gene Singleton Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Tate County, 2013
Outcome: Convicted in 2013 of 18 charges, including sexual battery of a child, “gratification of lust” and possession of child pornography. Serving a 30-year sentence. Abuse described in the case targeted a teenaged boy and spanned a seven-year period from 2005 to 2012. Appeal to the Mississippi Court of Appeals was denied.
News Story About Singleton https://www.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2014/11/former_mississippi_pastor_lose.html
Police Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4918330-MS-SingletonLarry-Doc.html
Larry Michael BerkleyChurch Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Lauderdale County, 2014
Outcome: Convicted of 16 crimes, including four counts of aggravated statutory rape and four counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. Sentenced to 33 years. Incarcerated in Tennessee and registered as a sex offender.
News Story https://harrisondaily.com/news/larry-michael-berkley-found-guilty-in-tennessee/article_31fed6be-a806-11e4-aedd-bfa079fbca8f.html
Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4936946-TN-Berkley-LarryMsof.html
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4936912-TN-Berkley-LarryM.html
Samuel Lee Lyte Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Howard County, 2013
Outcome: Convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child; sentenced to 25 years in prison.
News Story http://www.bigspringherald.com/content/lyte-gets-25-years-sexual-assault-child
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5004992-Lyte-SamuelLee-Doc.html
Garett Dykes Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Middle District of Alabama, 2006
Outcome: Sentenced to 262 months for federal child porn case in the Middle District of Alabama (20 years). In federal prison.
News Story https://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/DA/20060929/Lifestyle/603228225/GT/
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4883562-AL-Dykes-Garett-ALDoc.html
Timothy Chun-Chuck Mann Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Montgomery County, 2008
Outcome: Registered sex offender in Alabama. Pleaded guilty to child abuse of a 14-year-old female in Maryland in 2008; sentenced to 13 years with seven years in confinement, the rest suspended, according to Maryland court records.
News Story http://www.gazette.net/stories/073008/montnew200341_32374.shtml
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5025956-MD-AL-Mann-Timothysof.html
William Frank Brown Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: McLennan County, 2009
Outcome: Convicted in 2009 of four counts of aggravated sexual battery for molesting a female victim or victims as young as 11. Sentenced to 50 years. Incarcerated in Texas.
News Story https://www.kxxv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10107445&nav=menu509_2
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4853051-Brown-WilliamFrankTDCJctdocs.html
Anthony Lynn ThibodeauxChurch Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Freestone County, 2013
Outcome: Convicted of sexual assault of a child and of two counts of indecency with a child by contact in 2013. Sentenced to 10 years. Incarcerated in Texas.
News Story https://www.kxxv.com/story/19252220/freestone-county-preacher-accused-of-sex-assault-on-15-yr-old
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4853017-Thibodeaux-Anthony.html
Hezekiah Stallworth Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Anderson County, 2012
Outcome: Serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault of a child and indecency with a child for offenses in 2010 and in 1989. Prosecutors at trial presented evidence that Stallworth had molested at least three girls at his church over that 21-year period. Stallworth lured some children into his study by offering them lollipops, court records show. Appealed but lost in 2012.
News Story https://www.palestineherald.com/news/local_news/ex-pastor-sentenced-for-sexual-abuse-of-girls/article_bb8641ab-196b-5d4c-950f-41a6087d80a6.html
Police Court Record https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/#/person/Hezekiah-Stallworth
Daniel Stephen Johnson Church Position: Missionary
Court of Conviction: Federal, 2018
Outcome: Johnson, a missionary, was investigated by the FBI at the request of Cambodian authorities. Arrested in Cambodia by U.S. authorities in 2014. Convicted by a jury in 2018 of eight federal charges, including charges for traveling to a foreign place and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with six different minor boys. Johnson has since filed a motion for a new trial and to set aside the jury’s verdict.
Johnson was arrested in December 2014 after authorities in Cambodia handed him over to FBI agents who then brought him to Oregon. At the time, Johnson had just completed a one-year prison sentence in Cambodia for sexually abusing five boys who were in his care at an orphanage that he had operated there. Federal authorities said Johnson’s victims were between 8 and 17 years old.
News Story https://www.registerguard.com/news/20180516/federal-jury-in-eugene-finds-missionary-from-oregon-guilty-of-sexually-abusing-boys-in-cambodia
Police/Court Records https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5728661-Or-Johnson-DanielStephenbop.html
Michael Wayne O’Guin Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Denton and Tarrant counties, 2004
Outcome: Ordered to complete two years community supervision without adjudication of guilt in 2004 after pleading no contest to the felony sexual assault made by a child victim. A warrant was issued for his arrest in 2006 after prosecutors claimed he failed to complete conditions as required.
News Story https://www.stategazette.com/story/1025922.html
Michael Alan Crippen Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Jasper and Greene counties, 2012
Outcome: Registered as a sex offender in Missouri for offenses of possession of child pornography. A forensic examination of his laptop computer discovered more than 360 images of child pornography, including girls under 10 years old either posing nude or engaged in sexual conduct.
News Story https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/missouri-minister-gets-years-for-child-porn/article_dd0d03c2-bbd3-11e1-9960-001a4bcf6878.html
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5002655-MO-Crippen-MichaelAlan-sofpg3.html
Travis Payne Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Miller County, 2012
Outcome: Convicted of sexual assault (victim was reported to be a 3-year-old). Sentenced to five years in prison. A Miller County jury Tuesday found South Texarkana Baptist Church pastor Travis Payne guilty of sexual misconduct with a 3-year-old girl and sentenced him to five years in prison. Later died.
News Story https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2012/feb/29/pastor-found-guilty/288194/
Daniel J. Moore Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Johnson County, 2010
Outcome: Convicted in 2010 of sexual misconduct with a minor and other charges in Johnson County. Sentenced to 10 years. Paroled. Registered sex offender in Indiana.
A former Southern Baptist pastor in central Indiana has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old church member in a relationship that began with him counseling the girl because she was not getting along with her mother.Daniel Moore, 50, former pastor of New Whiteland Baptist Church near Franklin, Ind., pleaded guilty March 15 to felony child solicitation and sexual misconduct charges in exchange for a 10-year sentence. A Johnson County circuit court judge approved the plea bargain at a sentencing hearing April 8.
The girl’s mother, who is not being identified to protect the privacy of her daughter, said she was satisfied with the sentence because she didn’t want to put the now soon-to-be 17-year-old through the trauma of a jury trial.
Entering the courtroom April 8, the mother said she was surprised how many people from the former church were there to support their former pastor. At the end of the hearing, she said, Moore’s stepdaughter said to her daughter, “I hope you rot in hell,” for her role in assisting in the prosecution of the case.
News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/former-baptist-pastor-gets-10-years-for-molestation/#.XFIdSVVKhhE
Luis Federico Garcia Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Shelby County, 2007
Outcome: Registered sex offender. Convicted in 2007 of three counts of sexual abuse in Shelby County, Ala. A former pastor of Spanish ministries at the First Baptist Church of Pelham is charged with sexual abuse of three young girls. Luis Federico Garcia, 63, of Alabaster, was arrested on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse for the alleged abuse of two 7-year-olds and one 6-year-old, Pelham Lt. Scott Tucker said. The alleged abuse occurred from July 2002 until May of 2007, Tucker said. Garcia has been released on a $30,000 bond. Now lives in the Dominican Republic.
News Story https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/DA/20031011/News/606114298/TL/
Benjamin William Nelson Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Hill County, 2018
Outcome: Used social media to lure a 13-year-old girl into sexual encounters and was convicted of sexual assault with a child (two counts) indecency with a child (two counts) and online solicitation of a minor afterward. Sentenced in February 2018 in Hill County to 20 years in prison. Incarcerated in Texas.
A Hill County pastor and former student at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday for using social media to lure a teenage girl into a sexual encounter last year. Benjamin Nelson, 27, pastor of Peoria Baptist Church west of Hillsboro, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, two counts of indecency with a child by contact and online solicitation of a minor.
Judge Lee Harris of Hill County’s 66th State District Court sentenced Nelson to five concurrent, 20-year sentences in a plea bargain Nelson reached with Hill County District Attorney Mark Pratt.
Pratt said Nelson posed as a teenager while talking to the 13-year-old online and convinced her to meet him in a parking lot in Whitney.
News Story https://www.wacotrib.com/news/courts_and_trials/pastor-sentenced-in-sexual-abuse-of-young-girl/article_cdf7725a-6dba-5fda-815e-c86f73c4ad9f.html
Christopher Donald Beam Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Wayne County, 2017
Outcome: Convicted of unlawful touching of a child and exploitation of a child. Sentenced to five years in 2017. Incarcerated in Mississippi.
A Wayne County pastor is sentenced to five years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to having an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Christopher Beam pleaded guilty Monday to lustful touching and exploitation of a child.
On Monday, he was sentenced to 30 years with 25 years suspended. Investigators said Beam was a substitute teacher and bus driver at Beat 4 School in Wayne County in January 2016 when he kissed a 12-year-old girl in the school’s bathroom.
The victim told officials she was texting Beam when he convinced her to leave class and meet him there.
Beam was fired from both positions at the school and his roll at Evergreen Baptist Church in Shubuta after his arrest.
According to officials, the victim’s family was “very pleased” with Monday’s outcome.
News Story https://www.wdam.com/story/34494393/paster-sentenced-to-5-years-for-physical-relationship-with-minor/
Edward Earl Prince Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Desoto County, 2013
Outcome: Listed as a sex offender in Mississippi for a 2013 conviction of child exploitation. A Mid-South pastor has been charged with possession of child pornography after he was found surfing on a library computer. Hernando police said the computers in the library have software to keep people from viewing inappropriate material.
However, investigators said the Hernando pastor managed to get around the filters and firewalls.
Edward Prince, 63, is the pastor at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Hernando, Mississippi. He is being charged with possession of child pornography after staff at the Hernando Public Library told police Prince was viewing inappropriate images on one of the computers. Police found that Prince had downloaded and viewed child pornography on the computer in the public library.
The illegal downloads were tied to his computer login. “You have to register and that’s one of the ways we were able to determine what belong to him,” said Champion.
News Story https://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/14381708/hernando-pastor-charged-with-child-pornography/
Joseph Raleigh Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Federal and Hughes County, 2016
Outcome: Pleaded guilty to attempted human trafficking after arranging to meet and have sex with an undercover agent who he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Sentenced to 46 months in federal prison in 2016. Released. Registered sex offender in South Dakota.
Joseph Raleigh, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Miller, S.D., pleaded guilty June 28 in federal court to Attempted Trafficking with Respect to Involuntary Servitude and Forced Labor, a federal law making it a crime to recruit or transport persons for forced labor.
Raleigh, 35, an Ohio native who served as pastor of Hysham Baptist Church in Hysham, Mont., before moving to South Dakota in 2013, was arrested Oct. 24, 2015, in a sting by federal, state and local agencies after negotiating a deal on the Internet with an undercover officer posing as a pimp to have sex with a 15-year-old girl.
He resigned as pastor of the 50-member Southern Baptist church within a day of his arrest. The guilty plea was part of a deal with prosecutors reducing the crime from stiffer charges of Attempted Commercial Sex Trafficking of Children and Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet.
Due to his lack of criminal history and other factors, his recommended sentence ranged from 30 to 37 months, but U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange increased it to nearly four years in prison, finding that as a pastor Raleigh had violated a position of trust.
News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/former-pastor-caught-in-internet-prostitution-sting-sentenced-to-prison/#.XC1ZylVKhhE
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5498579-SD-Raleigh-Josephsexoffender.html
Holland Farrell McMorris Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Rapides Parish, 2010
Outcome: Was convicted in 2010 and is serving a 25-year sentence in Louisiana state prison for sex crimes, according to a state prison spokesman. A former Louisiana Baptist preacher was sentenced to 25 years in prison Oct. 3 for sexual abuse of a young female relative. Holland Farrell McMorris, 64, was arrested in June 2010 and charged with 15 counts of aggravated incest. Two months later a grand jury increased the number of charges to 473, indicting McMorris on 157 counts of aggravated incest, 157 counts of sexual battery, 157 counts of molestation of a juvenile and two counts of attempted aggravated rape. Authorities say the crimes occurred between May 2006 and August 2009 when the victim was between 11 and 14 years old. She is now 16 and has undergone counseling.
The 2009 Louisiana Baptist Convention annual listed McMorris as pastor of Paradise Baptist Church in Ball, La. The 80-member congregation founded in 1952 is listed in online directories of both the Louisiana Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention.
Quoted by the Alexandria Town Talk newspaper, the girl’s mother said in court that McMorris used his status in both the family and the Baptist church to take advantage of her daughter.
According to the newspaper, McMorris told the court he was a social worker at Central Louisiana State Hospital and that he holds two master’s degrees. He admitted guilt but did not apologize. Assistant District Attorney Monique Metoyer said the victim’s family was “quite generous” in agreeing to the 25-year plea deal.
News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/former-preacher-sentenced-for-incest/#.WujUPS7wbIU
Coy Privette Church Position: Past president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, trustee/chair of the SBC’s Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and a trustee of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Court of Conviction: Rowan County, 2007
Outcome: Retired Baptist minister and former state legislator. Pleaded guilty in 2007 to aiding and abetting prostitution and was given probation. Died in 2015.
Moral activist and conservative Southern Baptist Convention leader Coy Privette received “deferred prosecution” on six charges of aiding and abetting prostitution during his hearing Aug. 22.
Privette, a Rowan County, N.C., commissioner and former executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, admitted to investigators that he had sex with an accused prostitute, according to the prosecutor at the hearing.
Deferred prosecution means Privette, who resigned from the state convention’s board after his arrest in July, will have his record wiped clean if he performs 48 hours of community service, complies with probation requirements for a year and pays court and probation costs.
According to the prosecutor, the case started June 27 when a Cabarrus County bank refused to honor a check being drawn against Privette’s account because it seemed high. Bank employees alerted police in Kannapolis, N.C., where Privette lives.
A police investigator interviewed Tiffany Summers, who said she had received the check from Privette. She also said she had sex with Privette on a number of occasions in two hotels.
Summers showed the investigator a photo of Privette that she took with her cell phone. The prosecutor said Privette had signed in to the hotels under his own name six times. Hotel security cameras showed both Privette and Summers, according to the prosecutor.
News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/southern-baptist-morality-activist-confesses-to-soliciting-prostitute/#.Wujowy7wbIU
Samuel Allen Nuckolls Church Position: Pastor/Minister
Court of Conviction: DeSoto County, 2012
Outcome: Serving a 10-year sentence in Mississippi state prison on three counts of video voyeurism, prison records show. Nuckolls originally faced 13 charges of video voyeurism in 2012, but the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned 10 of 13 counts in a ruling in 2015. Required to register as a sex offender. The Mississippi Supreme Court has reversed 10 of the 13 counts of a traveling Southern Baptist evangelist convicted three years ago of video voyeurism. Sam Nuckolls, a former youth camp pastor for LifeWay Christian Resources, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012 for making secret videos of 13 women taking showers in his home in Olive Branch, Miss., between June 2007 and October 2011. The Supreme Court ruled Dec. 10 that law enforcement failed to prove that 10 of 11 videos found copied on a laptop computer seized from Nuckolls were reproduced within the jurisdiction of DeSoto County Judge Gerald Chatham, who decided the sentence based on stipulated facts in September 2012. The Supreme Court upheld one of the appealed sentences, saying a video made in Olive Branch ending with Nuckolls shown possessing a silver laptop consistent with the Apple MacBook Pro he purchased Jan. 5, 2011, was enough to reasonably infer the recording was made after that date. Nuckolls did not appeal two counts of surreptitious recordings that occurred within the statute of limitations on Oct. 14 and Oct. 19, 2011. Judge Chatham sentenced Nuckolls to consecutive five-year prison sentences for those charges, with all the remaining five-year sentences running concurrently to his time in jail. Nuckolls secretly recorded women ranging in age from 17 to 26 at two different residences in Olive Branch. Most were friends or acquaintances, including wives of ministerial colleagues.
Nuckolls was first arrested in Gosnell, Ark., after a woman who lived in the house where Nuckolls was staying while in town to preach a revival found a spy pen in her bathroom that contained video of her inside the bathroom. Nuckolls pleaded guilty in Arkansas in exchange for five years of probation. Similar allegations investigated in Texas were outside the window of the state’s three-year statute of limitations. He was also investigated in Virginia, where video voyeurism is a misdemeanor.
After his release from prison Nuckolls must register as a sex offender and undergo treatment and monitoring for another 10 years.
News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/state-supreme-court-reverses-convictions-of-peeping-preacher/#.W2MVNNVKhaQ
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4918327-MS-Nuckolls-Samsof.html
Joshua L. Spires Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Delaware County, 2009
Outcome: Registered sex offender in Texas for life. Under probation/community supervision until 2029. Convicted in 2009 after guilty plea to 10 counts of lewd molestation of a minor; served nine years in Oklahoma state prison. Released Feb. 28, 2018.
A former Delaware County pastor was sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old girl who attended his church, a prosecutor said Friday.
Joshua Spires, 28, of Odessa, Texas, pleaded guilty in Delaware County District Court on Tuesday to 10 counts of lewd molestation. Spires was sentenced to 10 years on each count and fined $10,000.
All the sentences will run concurrently, said Bryce Lair, assistant district attorney.
According to court records, the sexual assaults occurred every Sunday at the Jay church about an hour before services began.
Spires will have to serve 8 1/2 years before he becomes eligible for early release, Lair said.
As part of the plea agreement, Spires confessed in court to the sexual misconduct with the teenager, who once was in his youth group.
The sexual relationship began in 2007 and lasted until Nov. 15, when the girl broke off the relationship, according to an affidavit. Both the victim and Spires told authorities the relationship was consensual.
Oklahoma law states that a 15-year-old cannot consent to a sexual relationship.
News Story https://oklahoman.com/article/3409847/ex-pastor-joshua-spires-sentenced-in-abuse-of-jay-teen?custom_click=pod_headline_crime
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5019111-OK-Spires-JoshuasofinTexas.html
Christopher Alan Hogge Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Isle of Wight County, 2017
Outcome: Pleaded guilty to 19 child pornography charges in 2017. Serving a 16-year sentence. Incarcerated in Virginia. Release date 2033.
Christopher Alan Hogge has pleaded guilty to the 19 child pornography charges he faced.
Hogge, the Pastor of Battery Park Baptist Church and Director of Franklin Social Services was arrested in May of 2016 on eight child pornography charges. Additional charges were filed against him in July. He entered a guilty plea on April 12.
For 15 of the charges, Hogge was sentenced to five years behind bars with five years suspended. On four of the charges he was sentenced to tens years with five years suspended. He will serve those five years sentences consecutively, at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
According to court documents, pictures of children in sexual positions were found on Hogge’s Twitter account. The IP address for the account was traced back to Hogge’s home, which is connected to the church, where Hogge served as a Pastor. Though, that’s not the only place Hogge allegedly viewed and distributed child pornography.
During an interview with Detectives, Hogge reportedly admitted to using the printer at Franklin Social Services to print more than 200 images of male child pornography five years ago. He kept those pictures at his desk there, according to court documents.
News Story https://wtkr.com/2017/04/19/pastor-city-employee-to-appear-in-court-for-19-child-pornography-charges/
David Glenn Boyd Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Federal, 2018
Outcome: Sentenced to 120 months in prison by a federal judge after being convicted of a charge of distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in “sexually explicit conduct.”
Former Wheelwright Baptist Church pastor David Glenn Boyd was sentenced this week to 10 years in prison on child pornography charges. The 53-year old Floyd County man pleaded guilty back in December to one count of distributing child pornography. Prosecutors say they recovered a laptop with dozens of inappropriate photos and videos involving children, some under the age of 12.
News Story https://www.1039thebulldog.com/2018/03/15/wheelwright-pastor-sentenced-to-10-years-on-child-pornography-charges/
Ralph Lee Aaron Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Covington County, 2010
Outcome: Convicted of four felonies, including production of obscene matter (three counts) and sodomy. Sentenced to four consecutive 99-year terms. Incarcerated. Registered sex offender.
The former pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship is now facing charges on 152 “atrocious acts” stemming from allegations he sexually abused and tortured young boys while on camping trips.
At a press conference Tuesday, Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks and the case’s lead investigator Wesley Snodgrass revealed the current scope of the case against 54-year-old Ralph Lee Aaron.
The investigation began last Tuesday after a mother, who had heard rumors of a previous incident involving Aaron, had a “straightforward” conversation with her son. That incident stemmed from a 2005 complaint that occurred while Aaron was serving at Andalusia’s Victory Baptist Church. No charges were filed in the 2005 complaint, which was investigated by the Covington County District Attorney’s office and the Department of Human Resources.
As a result of that conversation, the mother determined her son may have had inappropriate contact with Aaron, and she elected to contact authorities.
“Surprisingly, (the victim) was open and honest, and they discussed it at length before contacting law enforcement,” Snodgrass said. “It was quickly identified as a substantial case.”
When officers arrived at Aaron’s home Tuesday night, they seized numerous items of computer equipment and camera equipment. Snodgrass said they found more than 100 pornographic images Aaron allegedly downloaded from the Internet as well as some images taken of his alleged local victims.
As the investigation continued, it was determined the majority of Aaron’s alleged victims ranged in age from 8 to 12 and were all male. No specific number of victims was released, as the investigation is still ongoing.
Snodgrass said the alleged abuse occurred when Aaron, while acting in his capacity as pastor, took the boys on camping trips to local areas. It is not believed any of these incidents occurred at the church, Snodgrass said.
“We also have some evidence that shows other abuse occurred at Aaron’s residence,” he said.
However, there is no evidence that shows Aaron’s family had any knowledge of his actions, he said.
“From all accounts, Mr. Aaron was believed to be a decent man, but he obviously had a secret life,” he said. “He was able to do (these acts) because he befriended (the parents), the children and the church family. That’s how he got into their lives.”
Aaron is now charged with the following:
38 counts of production of obscene matter containing visual depiction of a person under 17 involved in obscene acts.
3 counts of dissemination of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17 involved in obscene acts.
97 counts of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17 involved in obscene acts.
3 counts of sexual torture.
3 counts of first-degree sodomy.
8 counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12
He is currently being held in the Covington County Jail, where he is separated from the general population “for his own safety,” Snodgrass said. His bond is set at $24.2 million.
Aaron could face additional charges as the case continues, Snodgrass said.
“I would say that Mr. Aaron has not been fully cooperative throughout this investigation and, in my opinion, seems completely and entirely unremorseful,” Snodgrass said. “Right now, he’s more concerned about his current situation than he is with anything else or our victims.”
News Story https://www.andalusiastarnews.com/2009/10/28/pastor-faces-152-counts/
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4910819-AL-Aaron-RalphLee-Sexoffender.html
Phillip Rutledge Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Texas, 2003
Outcome: Registered sex offender because of two 2003 aggravated sexual assault charges against children, Texas records show.
CHURCH GIVES SEX OFFENDER A SECOND CHANCE
Pastor Phillip Rutledge is on the pulpit Sundays at Ranchland Heights Baptist Church. He’s also a low-risk sex offender because of two Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child charges back in 2003. He is registered with the state.
CBS 7 received a call from someone who went to the church concerned because they found out about the pastor’s status by word of mouth outside of the church. Church officials confirm they knew of his status before hiring him.
“Our administration knew about Bro. Phillip’s history before the hiring, and the vast majority of the church knew about it as well. We believe that God can change people, and we believe that God has forgiven Bro. Phillip as well.”
They also confirm not all of the congregation is aware that Pastor Rutledge is a sex offender.
“I can’t tell you that 100 percent of the people know, but the vast majority know.” said Deacon DJ Rambo.
While the law does not say sex offenders can’t serve in church, it is up to the discretion of the congregation.
“We make sure children are never by themselves in the sanctuary or any activities alone with the Pastor. He is very cautious of it as well.” said Rambo.
In a photo on the church’s Facebook page, the pastor is seen helping baptize a youth at the church.
News Story https://www.cbs7.com/content/news/Church-Gives-Sex-Offender-a-Second-Chance-382546021.html
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5673298-Rutledge-Phillip-Sof-1.html
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