Medford youth pastor indicted on federal child porn charges


Medford youth pastor indicted on federal child porn charges

Federal prosecutors allege a Medford youth pastor arrested in January on burglary and privacy invasion charges transported at least three minors across state lines to produce child pornography.

The indictment, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Medford, charges Donald Courtney Biggs with six counts of attempting to use a minor to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct, three counts of using a minor to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct and three counts of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity with a minor. The indictment identifies by initials nine victims, three of whom Biggs is alleged to have transported to California.

Biggs, 36, was arrested by Medford police Jan. 15 in connection with an alleged burglary three days prior at Mountain Church, 1 E. Main St., where he had been employed as an administrative and youth pastor. Police said they believe Biggs, who previously had been under investigation for inappropriate text messages he allegedly exchanged with a juvenile congregation member, was attempting to steal computer hard drives from the church.

Police later served a search warrant at Biggs’ Jacksonville home, where investigators from the Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force said they recovered 28 videos from a hidden camera in the bathroom depicting women and young girls in various states of nudity. County prosecutors then added additional charges of first-degree encouraging child sex abuse, using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct and private indecency.

Use of a child in a display of a sex act is a Class A felony under state law, carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of 70 months in prison without parole under Measure 11 guidelines. Under federal law, transporting a minor across state lines for a criminal sexual offense carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, while using a minor to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct carries a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Mountain Church Pastor Jim Wright said previously he was not at liberty to comment about the investigation.

Biggs’ trial on the state charges is currently set for Aug. 11. He’s being held in Jackson County Jail on more than $1 million bail.

http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20150618/NEWS/150619576

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