Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Youth pastor Daniel Mooneyham arrested

Many years ago I did an experiment on the internet where I establish accounts as a 15-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl. I can’t remember the service I used. It might have been Yahoo. I did nothing with the accounts other than setting up a basic profile. I was testing to see if it was safe to allow my young son to have an account of his own. The experiment failed horribly

I let the accounts sit for a few weeks before I returned to check them. Each account was full of solicitations from older men. They were disturbing. The female account was horrifying. Men actually sent graphic photos. I closed the accounts quickly and told my son his account would have to wait. I’m sure he thought I was being over protective, but I don’t think I was. There are men like former youth pastor Daniel Mooneyham out there, and they want our children.

A former church youth minister is accused of posing as an 18-year-old woman on facebook to entice boys into sending naked pictures of themselves.   32-year-old Daniel Mooneyham of Oklahoma City has been charged in federal court with sexual exploitation of children.   Mooneyham's wife discovered the deception and contacted the FBI in January.  Mooneyham was a youth minister at a Lexington church until he was charged in Garvin County in 2007 with embezzlement.

Mooneyham’s scam was simple. It relied on the assumption that teen boys will do just about anything to see a naked woman.

He posed on the popular social networking site Facebook as “Terri Smith,” the FBI reported.

He would send photos of a topless woman to boys in exchange for nude photos of themselves, an agent reported in a court affidavit.

Read more: FBI says Oklahoma City man posed as woman in Facebook to get nude photos of boys

Mooneyham’s wife did the right thing.

The wife told the FBI she recognized many of “Terri Smith's” Facebook friends as individuals from the church she and her husband attend.

She said she recognized others as individuals from summer church youth camps they had attended.

Mooneyham is no longer a youth pastor, however his embezzlement conviction did not stop his church from using him at summer camp and as a Sunday School teacher. Mooneyham sounds creepy. I hope he did not get his hands on any children.

Note: Daniel Leslie Mooneyham was the youth pastor at the Corbett Baptist Church outside Lexington.