A Texas pastor was arrested this week and charged with possession of child pornography,
Brett Monroe, 38, is also a registered volunteer at Corey Academy of Fine Arts & Dual Language in the Arlington Independent School District, NBC DFW reported.
Monroe was arrested on Wednesday in a joint investigation conducted by Arlington police and the US Department of Homeland Security. Little information was made available by officials.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Monroe worked at Heritage Baptist Church in Arlington. An archived copy of the church’s website said that he was an associate pastor, but his name had been removed by late this week.
Heritage Pastor George Newcomb released a statement:
“As a ministry, we are always saddened and dismayed when one of our employees is arrested and charged with breaking the law. When a criminal allegation involves inappropriate conduct toward a child or children, our organization immediately suspends or terminates that individual from employment and from any contact with children pending the outcome of the criminal matter, and we fully cooperate with parents, state officials, and law enforcement. We believe that if children are safe anywhere, they should be safe at church. Heritage Baptist Church does not cover-up abuse, and we have zero tolerance for child abuse in our ministry. As a matter of policy, Heritage Baptist Church reports all suspicions of even potential child abuse to the authorities and cooperates fully with law enforcement. We carefully interview, screen, and train our employees and volunteers, and our leadership team works to maintain child protection policies based on best practices of Federal and Texas State law. We believe that transparency, child safety, and accountability are essential for successful ministry, and we are fully committed to ministering to our children in a safe and responsible manner. As this current matter involves a staff member who has already been arrested and criminally charged, upon the advice of legal counsel we will have no further comment on this matter. We are asking our staff and members not to discuss this matter further while it is pending before the courts. The church will also minister as appropriate to any victims and to any church members or staff who have been innocently caught up in this unfortunate and criminal matter.”
The school district said in a statement that they had received no complaints from parents or children regarding Monroe and that his background check was clear.
Arrisca Harbor, Monroe’s next door neighbor, told NBC DFW that the pastor and his family are “good church people.”
“They’re quiet. Church members be over there, donate to the Mission of Arlington, have garage sales. I mean, just normal,” he said.
Monroe is being held on $15,000 bond at the Tarrant County jail, CBS DFW said.
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[Featured image: Brett Monroe/Tarrant County Jail]