Bond granted for Norfolk pastor accused of having child porn

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by 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 2 at 6:17 AM

NORFOLK - A judge set bond at $25,000 Monday for a Norfolk pastor accused of possessing child pornography.

David Smith was arrested last week and was placed on leave by Trinity Lutheran Church and School.

At his bond hearing Monday, Smith was joined by family and church members.  Smith's wife, parents and pastoral supervisor stood before the judge on his behalf, ready to testify.

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Leron Gilchrist said his office had requested that bond be denied for Smith due to the graphic nature of evidence found in his possession.

"The pictures that we have depict not only nude photographs of children, but they are images which depict children in incidents that we, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, would categorize as sexual assault or rape,” said Gilchrist. 

Smith repeatedly broke down crying in court as he admitted his struggles with child pornography. He also admitted to having problems in his early years with his sexual orientation. He said although he sought counseling three times, it wasn’t effective.

“This is something I will not do again. I will stop,” said Smith.

According to the terms of Smith's release, he won't be able to access computers or the Internet, won't have access to children under the age of 16, including his own children, he cannot go onto church property and he must report to pretrial services.

Smith’s attorney, Howard Copeland, said his client was in good spirits after receiving visits from people in his family, but is troubled he won’t be able to communicate with his kids.

Smith has two daughters who are 14 and 6 and a son who is 10.

“This is a fixation in his mind. This problem he has. It is not something he’s acted on. There’s no evidence,” said Copeland.

Copeland advised a different approach for his client to deal with his compulsive problem.

“I think he needs a more vigorous type of therapy. I think he probably will be looking for inpatient residential counseling,” said Copeland.

A preliminary hearing on the 10 counts of possession of child pornography is set for May 7.

 

 

 

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