Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Pastor gets jail time for videotaping girls

[Source 1] August 21, 2008:

BRADENTON — A former youth minister was sentenced this afternoon to 120 days in the Manatee County jail and two years of probation for secretly videotaping girls as they undressed in his homes in Bradenton and Ellenton over a two-year period.

Matthew Porter, 31, was found guilty of nine counts of voyeurism, a misdemeanor. He had admitted to hiding video cameras in his bathroom and bedroom and taping girls between the ages of 12 and 16 changing clothes. Porter was a pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Bradenton.

Porter, who had sought to avoid jail time, apologized to family members of the victims who attended sentencing in the Manatee County courtroom.

Parents of the victims said their daughters had lost trust in adult men since the video cameras were discovered.

“It has hurt her very bad,” said the mother of one girl. “I saw that she posted on her MySpace page she would never trust a pastor again.”

Manatee County Judge George K. Brown Jr. said he believes Porter is remorseful, but deserved time behind bars for his “very disturbing” actions.

“These folks here are going to be affected by this for the rest of their lives,” Brown told Porter, who has been living with his family in Texas.

As part of his sentence, Porter must receive psychological counseling, must have no unsolicited contact with the victims or church members and may not possess video recording equipment.

[Source 2] Aug. 21, 2008:

Ex-pastor gets four months for voyeurism

BRADENTON – A former youth pastor accused of secretly taping Bible study students changing clothes in his Ellenton home was sentenced today to four months in jail and two years probation.

Matthew C. Porter, 31, of Ellenton, pleaded no contest to nine counts of misdemeanor voyeurism on July 7.

Circuit Judge George Brown issued the sentence at the Manatee County Judicial Center.

Porter resigned from Bethel Baptist Church after admitting he secretly videotaped his students ages 12 to 16, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The recordings, which took place over a period of two years, show the juveniles undressing and changing in the home, said Assistant State Attorney Erica Arend, head of the Manatee County misdemeanor division.

Prior to Porter’s plea, Brown denied a motion to suppress videotapes and other evidence from the case.

Brown ruled deputies had the right to enter Porter’s home to take DVD, VHS and and video recording equipment while he was out of town last summer.

Brown made his decision after Porter’s attorney, Henry Lee, filed a motion arguing authorities did not have a search warrant or Porter’s permission to enter his home in the 300 block of Sally Lee Drive.

Instead, a housesitter who found the tapes gave deputies consent to enter the home while Porter was in Mexico, Arend said.

Had Brown not allowed jurors to see the tapes, prosecutors mostly likely would have been forced to drop the charges due to a lack of evidence, she said.

Porter had been set to go to trial on the charges July 14.

August 22, 2008 - Posted by | Baptist Church, Voyeurism

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