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Delaware Youth Pastor Indicted for Dealing in Child Pornography


A Delaware children’s pastor has been indicted on 10 felony counts of Dealing in Child Pornography. The 74-year-old pastor was arrested on February 14th according to an announcement from the Delaware Attorney General. The Department of Justice revealed that an investigation resulted from cyber tips generated by Microsoft warning that the pastor’s IP address had accessed and downloaded Child Sex Abuse Material (CSAM). The investigation involved the Department of Justice and Delaware state police.

The defendant is currently being held on $500,000 cash bail. The DOJ said that they are continuing to investigate the matter. They currently have no knowledge of the pastor contacting or molesting any children involved with the church. The pastor is not accused of contacting a child for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Nonetheless, given the nature of the pastor’s work, the state is seeking any information related to the pastor’s conduct over the past 20 years he has served the church.

Internet child pornography arrests 

Often, those caught downloading or accessing illegal child pornography find the materials on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks or anonymous messaging apps like Kik. A user downloads the P2P program or the messaging app and then gains access to illegal pornographic materials. The user can also share the files over the network.

Law enforcement has automated technology to detect child pornography. This software gathers the names of the files, hash values, and other identifying material. The software then logs the IP address of the user who is downloading or sharing the CSAM. Once law enforcement has the IP address, they will send a subpoena or court order to the user’s internet provider. The internet provider will give law enforcement the home address of the user accused of downloading the CSAM. A search warrant is issued for the user’s home and all their computers and electronics are seized. Law enforcement will scour through the hard drives of these devices to find CSAM.

Penalties for being caught downloading child sex abuse material

In the case mentioned above, the pastor was charged with “Dealing in Child Pornography” which is a class B felony. Unlike Possession of Child Pornography, the state must prove that the suspect both received and sent pornographic materials. In other words, the state is alleging that you distributed child pornography.

In Delaware, Dealing in Child Pornography carries a mandatory 2-year minimum jail sentence for each count on the indictment. The law allows prosecutors to charge an individual for every image of CSAM they possess. In the case mentioned above, the pastor is facing 10 counts. Therefore, he is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in state prison.

Talk to a Willmington, DE Internet Crimes Attorney Today 

Wilmington criminal defense lawyer Michael W. Modica represents the interests of those who have been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.



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