A New Richmond Baptist pastor is in hot water after being nabbed on a felony charge of solicitation of a minor.
A report by the Hudson Star-Observer bared that Pastor Jason James Taylor was among six suspects named in a complaint filed before a district court in Washington County, MN.
Taylor, who was booked in the Washington County jail with five other suspects, is a preacher at Calvary Chapel Solid Rock in New Richmond, Wisconsin.
Details of the Case
The Star-Observer report revealed that the 47-year-old pastor reportedly contacted an underaged "girl" at a commercial sex website.
Taylor was unaware that the girl he offered to have a sexual act with for $80 was a police officer posing as a 17-year-old female.
The report said the pastor asked the girl for a photo showing her in a particular pose to check whether she was an actual person.
The undercover police officer sent Taylor the photo, which convinced him.
Despite knowing that the "girl" was a minor, the pastor reportedly pushed for the sex deal.
The article said Taylor agreed to meet the girl in a hotel room to consummate their commercial sex arrangement.
When the pastor arrived at the meeting place, police were there to arrest him.
The sting operation was reportedly part of joint efforts of three agencies: the Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking Task Force, the Human Trafficking Task Force of Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the East Metro Sex Trafficking Task Force.
The report said the task forces deployed police agents who posed as minors peddling commercial sex to adults who frequent known social media sites linked to the illegal activity.
Reaction from Fellow Pastor
Brian Sullivan, a fellow pastor of Taylor, offered limited reaction to the news because the legal case is still underway.
Sullivan told Pioneer Press that the matter is "sensitive" and offered prayers for Pastor Taylor's family.
He also assured the public that they are extending assistance to Taylor's family in the wake of the news.
"We are doing everything we can to support the family. Our role is to maintain the dignity of the family as best we can," he told the news outlet.
Sullivan added that the incident is 'saddening' and that the local community and those impacted by the case lost in the event.
He lamented that the "worst thing" is how the incident would affect the church family and the pastor's family, the Pioneer Press report said.
About Pastor Taylor
Meanwhile, the Hudson Star-Observer report said that Pastor Taylor attended California's Calvary Chapel College prior to his 1998 transfer to Chicago.
Upon arriving in the city, Taylor reportedly served as a youth pastor and opened a home fellowship.
Pastor Taylor transferred his family to Dunn County in 2008 and opened the Otter Creek Christian Fellowship in the small village of Wheeler.
The article added that Pastor Taylor began preaching at Calvary Chapel Solid Rock in August 2017.
He reportedly worked with Ken Mettler, the church's founding pastor.