Authorities in Easley, South Carolina say they've arrested a former Minister of Education for the First Baptist Church of Easley for Child Pornography charges stemming from a deeply rooted investigation into the pedophile’s online transmissions of the illicit files.
Milt Ponder, head of Deacons for the First Baptist Church said that 53-year-old Owen Roberts was a longstanding employee of the Church and a well-known member of the community.
Investigators say the Church notified them after finding images on his computer at the church.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, in cooperation with the Easley Police Department, the Pickens County Sheriff's Office, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division all raided the home of Owen Roberts after they'd received a tip that an IP address inside the residence has been downloading and sending sexually explicit images of minor children being molested by adults.
After raiding the home and seizing electronic devices, which were found to be in possession of the child pornography, Roberts was arrested and now faces nine counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a child, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Tuesday.
Law enforcement agents also later confiscated electronics from the First Baptist Church, and found sexually explicit images of children on the Church computer as well, according to<a href="http://www.wyff4.com/article/former-minister-at-upstate-church-had-child-porn-on-church-computer-police-say/14470433 "> WYFF 4</a>.
Ponder said that while Roberts interacted with the congregation that it was “mostly with adults”, although that's not a promising answer.
He did state the Church has a policy that anytime someone deals with a child that two adults are present, again, that's not convincing either.
In closing Ponder said that “the Church is distressed over the allegations”, and are “praying for God's strength to protect the families”, which is appreciative; but would have been best prevented if they'd not had a pedophile employed inside the Church, to begin with.
The Church refused to confirm when Roberts was removed the staff, but it had to be relatively recently if they found child porn on the computers at the Church.
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