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Pastor Avoids Maximum Sentence In Child Porn Case

Pastor Avoids Maximum Sentence In Child Porn Case

CREATED Jul 22, 2014

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A one-time youth pastor from Shelbyville has been sentenced to three years and four months in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice could have leveled a 20-year sentence on 38-year-old Joseph Todd Neill on Monday for downloading "violent" and "sadistic" prepubescent child pornography on his home computer.

Shelbyville police were investigating Neill on charges of statutory rape and searched his home computer, finding 72 images of minors, 32 of whom were children. Images contained depictions of bondage and child rape and molestation of children ages 5 to 9 years old. Neill worked at North Fork Baptist Church.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Neill faces state charges in Bedford County on statutory rape for his relationship with the then-17-year-old girl.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)