Perverted Pastor Gets Away With Videotaping Teen Girls Naked

showerWhat's more disgusting than a youth pastor who takes advantage of the teenage girls in his charge, videotaping them in the church shower? How about a justice system that will let him walk free because too much time has passed since the adult man got his jollies off on a couple of kids? That's what's happening in Texas right now, where Thomas Jason Fortenberry convinced four teenage girls to take part in a Fear Factor event to ensure they'd be covered in honey and in need of a shower way back in 2007. He then allegedly taped their naked bodies while they cleaned off.

Fortenberry allegedly confessed to one of the girls recently because the two were dating, and possible marriage was on the horizon. He apparently didn't count on his beloved, now 21, turning him over to the cops for taping her 17-year-old body along with that of two 15-year-old girls and another 17-year-old. But it doesn't matter.

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The charges filed by the cops have already been dismissed because the state carries only a three-year statute of limitations on felony improper photography/visual recording. You hear that, parents? The State of Texas has a big ol' loophole for anyone to tape your kids, then terrorize them so they won't say anything. A little time passes, your kid gets out from under their thumb, but it's too late.

Say what?

There's something awfully fishy about the way this whole case is being handled, not least because Fortenberry wasn't charged with some sort of child pornography charge. He has imagery of four teenage girls, all naked, and all underage, and all they're willing to charge him with is a felony count he can skate on? Naked children should equal child porn.

But let's just say they can't charge him with that because there is no imagery available to hold him. OK. Fine. But they saw fit to charge him with improper photography/visual recording based on the woman (she's now 21, even if she was 17 when she had her trust violated) complaining.

Shouldn't the mere fact that she was a child at the time of the crime extend the statute of limitations? Kids very often don't speak out about crimes, especially ones of a sexual nature, because they're afraid. They're terrified that the person of authority will turn on them (and I'd say a youth pastor certainly qualifies as an "authority"). Their immature brains put blame on themselves rather than on the perpetrator. More frequently than not, a lengthy time HAS passed before these victims come forward -- sometimes not until adulthood.

A kid who has been made a victim by an adult has a hard enough time in life. They shouldn't be screwed all over again by the justice system.

What do you think of this case? Should crimes against kids carry statutes of limitations?

 

Image via GlenBledsoe/Flickr

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