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Charges: Youth Pastor Solicited Sexually Explicit Images From A Minor Online

(credit: Pope County Sheriff's Office)

(credit: Pope County Sheriff’s Office)

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SAVAGE, Minn. (WCCO) – A children’s ministry pastor was arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of soliciting nude photos from a minor via Facebook.

Twenty-four-year-old Matthew Boos is charged with one count of soliciting a child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct, and one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child.

According to a criminal complaint, a Pope County deputy responded to a call on Jan. 19 in regards to messages a woman’s 15-year-old daughter had been receiving on Facebook.

The woman showed the deputy multiple messages between her daughter and an individual named Jordyn Saltzer. The messages sent by Saltzer were explicit and asked for nude photos of the 15-year-old girl.

Saltzer’s Facebook page stated that she was from Texas but lived in Mound, Minn., according to the criminal complaint.

Pope County officials asked Facebook to preserve the Facebook user name of Jordyn Saltzer, and on Jan. 23  they obtained a search warrant for the Facebook user information, along with chats, friend’s lists and photographs.

That search turned up three IP addresses. Officials used those addresses to narrow down the address of the Facebook user to a home in St. Louis Park, Minn.

Police obtained a search warrant for the address, which was associated with Boos, and visited the home on Friday.

From the beginning of the visit, Boos seemed uncomfortable. When receiving a copy of the search warrant, Boos put his head in his hands for a few moments.

The criminal complaint says police then conducted an interview with Boos, during which he was sweating profusely despite the temperature in the room being chilly.

Boos told officers that he is a youth pastor for River Valley Church and gave his iPhone and social media information to police.

He went back and forth about getting a lawyer, but eventually told police that he had struggled with a problem with pornography since high school.

He said that he had created two fake personas, one being Jordyn Saltzer. He also said he created a MeetMe account by the name of Robin Martens.

He indicated that he would chat with girls under 18, even as young as 13 or 12, with the intent of soliciting nude photos, the criminal complaint said.

Moreover, Boos said that most of the time he met his female victims via his youth pastor job and many of them were participants in his church. He said sometimes he would chat with friends of the young women, according to the criminal complaint.

Police said Boos said he knew what he was doing was wrong, but it was a problem that started in high school with adult porn and slowly turned into chatting with female minors.

Boos denied keeping any of the photographs sent to him.

Police said he expressed the need for help and said that he felt kind of relieved that he was caught so he could now get the help he needs.

Boos was then taken into custody in Savage and is being held at the Douglas County Jail.

According to Pastor Darin Poli of River Valley Church, Boos has worked there for three years. He is now under indefinite leave of absence pending the outcome of the situation.

Poli said his church is fully cooperating with investigators, and he shared the news of Boos arrest with his congregation at weekend worship services.

If found guilty, Boos faces a sentence of three years, a $5,000 fine or both for each charge.

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