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Former Arlington pastor sentenced to more than 24 years for child exploitation

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A former Arlington pastor was sentenced today to 293 months in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

39-year-old Brett Jarad Monroe, former associate pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, pleaded guilty in January to one count of sexual exploitation of a child.

“No child should ever have to endure the pain of sexual exploitation,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “The allegations in this case are particularly disturbing due to the defendant’s employment at the time of the offense as a pastor in a position of trust. The United States Attorney’s Office along with law enforcement partners will use every available tool to identify, arrest, and hold child predators accountable.”

“This individual’s actions were revolting, and the harm he caused to innocent children is devastating and forever lasting. His conduct was particularly disturbing because he was a trusted member of the community,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI Dallas. “Protecting the most innocent members of our society is a top priority for HSI and we will never relent in our efforts to put monsters in disguise, like Monroe, where they belong – behind bars!”

Federal agents executed a search warrant at Monroe’s residence on December 11, 2019. Monroe admitted to agents that he used his cellphone to create secret recordings of a minor female victim while she showered at his Arlington, Texas home. According to court documents, Monroe converted the video into still images which he saved in an online storage account.

At sentencing, an agent testified that Monroe admitted to sending, receiving, and trading child pornography online for years to fuel his pornography addiction. He also confessed to surreptitiously recording multiple other minor victims showering in his residence.

This investigation was led by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Arlington Police Department, Fort Worth Police Department, and Texas DPS. Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem is prosecuting this case. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor handed down the sentence.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

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