Brett Jarad Monroe, a 39-year-old former associate pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Arlington, was sentenced Monday to 293 months in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child, according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
"No child should ever have to endure the pain of sexual exploitation,” said Cox. “The allegations in this case are particularly disturbing due to the defendant’s employment at the time of the offense as a pastor in a position of trust. The United States Attorney’s Office along with law enforcement partners will use every available tool to identify, arrest, and hold child predators accountable.”
Monroe was arrested in December 2019 by the Arlington Police Department on one count of child pornography possession. He was later found to be a registered volunteer at Corey Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language, as confirmed by the Arlington Independent School District.
“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!”
Federal agents executed a search warrant at Monroe’s residence on 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.
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This investigation was led by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Arlington Police Department, Fort Worth Police Department, and Texas DPS.
Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem is prosecuting this case. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor handed down the sentence.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.