Sunday, April 14, 2013

Alleged pedophile pastor granted bond

Pastor David Smith, a Lutheran working for Trinity Lutheran Church and School, was granted bond after being arrested for possessing child porn. Smith, is married with three young children. He was released with certain stipulations. 

According to the terms of Smith's release, he won't be able to access computers or the Internet, won't have access to children under the age of 16, including his own children, he cannot go onto church property and he must report to pretrial services.

Smith’s attorney, Howard Copeland, said his client was in good spirits after receiving visits from people in his family, but is troubled he won’t be able to communicate with his kids.

The images on Pastor Smith's computers were graphic depictions of child rape, yet there is no evidence that he ever acted on his impulses. The judge must have taken this in to account when considering the bond. Plus, the judge must have considered the support from Smith's family, church and parishioners.

Since Smith has admitted his crime in court already, I think a better course of action would have been to keep him in jail and get him started on treatment. In cases like this, I wonder if the special privilege granted to Christian pastors plays a role. What good does it serve the community to allow an admitted pedophile loose in the neighborhood? A reasonable person would expect that public safety trumps Christian privilege. 

The church should fire pastor Smith since he's admitted to possessing graphic child pornography. Yet, all they have done is place him on leave and issued a statement (since removed). 

Smith was placed on leave from the church and will not be allowed on campus if he is released on bond, according to a statement on the church's Facebook page. He lives with his family in Poquoson.

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