Former Baptist youth pastor Joseph Todd Neill, of North Fork Baptist Church in Shelbyville, admitted to possessing violent and sadistic images of child pornography in a plea deal. He faces 20 years in prison. Neil still faces trail for the sexual exploitation of a minor and statuary rape by an authority figure.
Former North Fork Baptist Church youth minister Joseph Todd Neill, 37, agreed to plead guilty to a charge of possession of child pornography on Feb. 13. The plea agreement was filed Thursday.
Neill faces up to 20 years in prison. There has not yet been a plea hearing scheduled.
The child porn images were discovered when Shelbyville police began investigating charges that Neill had seduced and had sexual contact at least twice with a 17-year-old female church member.
There were 72 images:
Among the images, 32 included children. One image was of a child under the age of 12. Seven images depicted violent child rape. One image depicted bondage and child rape. At least one child pictured was a known victim of molestation from age 5 until 9, according to police. Nine of the images were cartoons depicting minors in sexual activity, and 26 showed minors in minimal clothing or lingerie.
The images were discovered during a forensic investigation linked to the investigation of alleged statutory rape.
According to Detective Sgt. Brian Crews of the Shelbyville Police Department, Neill's phones were seized in January during their investigation of the original charges. Crews asked for forensic help from the TBI to see if any evidence had been deleted from the phones, and text messages were recovered to and from the alleged victim.
But during that testing, TBI agents also recovered a number of files and images with minors in sexual situations.
Neill was arrested in September 2013.