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Child Exploitation
06/01/2020

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Former North Texas pastor sentenced to more than 24 years for child exploitation

Former North Texas pastor sentenced to more than 24 years for child exploitation

DALLAS – A former Arlington, Texas, pastor was sentenced Monday to 293 months in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child, following an investigation by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The Arlington and Fort Worth Police departments and Texas Department of Public Safety assisted with the case.

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

HSI special agents executed a search warrant at Monroe’s residence Dec. 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 home. According to court documents, Monroe converted the video into still images that 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 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!”

Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/03/2020