LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former employee of a Louisville church was arrested Thursday, after the Kentucky Attorney General's Office said he sent sexual images and videos to an undercover investigator posing online as a minor.
According to an arrest report, 33-year-old James Nicholas Lynch contacted the undercover investigator online.
"About a month before the arrest, Mr. Lynch reached out and made contact to a website that we were monitoring," said J. Michael Brown, Deputy Attorney General, Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Brown shared details of the disturbing case again Lynch - who goes by Nick.
"There's a certain protocol they go through where they let, and in this case, Mr. Lynch initiated a conversation and takes it to, as we like to say, takes it to places where he wants to go," Brown said.
Investigators say despite the fact that Lynch believed he was talking to a minor, he took part in a sexual conversation with the detective. He allegedly sent sexual images to the investigator, and live streamed video of himself engaging in a sex act, so that the investigator could see it.
Brown said the investigation eventually led detectives and secret service agents to Lynch's place of employment, Highview Baptist Church.
"We knew that this was the location where he was, we had enough hits from that location, he was taken into custody at the church," Brown said.
Police say Lynch has admitted to the incidents.
He's charged with engaging in the prohibited use of an electronic communications system to procure a minor or peace officer for sexual offenses.
Lynch made his first court appearance on Friday morning. A judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and ordered Lynch to continue being held on a $10,000 bond. Lynch was appointed a public defender and scheduled to be back in court on March 25.
According to a statement from Highview Baptist Church, Lynch was employed there as a research assistant and curriculum.
He has since been terminated, according to the church.
The full statement from the church is below:
On March 14, we were informed by law enforcement that one of our staff members, Nick Lynch, had been arrested and would be charged with a felony related to online procurement of a minor. We were devastated to hear what these officials shared with us.
As far as we know from the limited information we’ve received, the accusations against Nick do not involve anyone else associated with Highview Baptist Church, our school, or any of our ministries. Nick’s employment at Highview Baptist Church as Research Assistant & Curriculum Writer has been terminated with immediate effect, in accordance with our personal conduct policy.
We are shocked by the nature of the accusations, but we also know that we live in a fallen and broken world, and we pray for Nick. We are cooperating fully as the investigation and legal process unfold.
As our system of justice takes it course, we will be transparent and share appropriate information with our church. This will be a difficult season for our congregation, but we will fix our eyes on Jesus and look forward to the day when evil and sin and crying and pain are no more. Our hope today is the same as it was yesterday.
Further questions about the case should be directed to the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General.
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