MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Fairmont pastor is facing charges for allegedly possessing pornographic images featuring children.
Robert Cairl Trueblood, 56, has been charged with one felony count of possessing pornographic work on a computer, disk, image or other electronic means.
According to the criminal complaint, on March 7 the BCA’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit received a tip from the company Chatstep.
The Chatstep representatives told the BCA, a user “PervyPastor,” later identified as Trueblood, had uploaded a pornographic image featuring two males that were under the age of 18.
Following the tip, the BCA launched an investigation into the Chatstep account.
Through further investigation, the ICAC learned the user’s IP address reported belonged to a subscriber identified as St. James Lutheran Church and School in Northop.
They learned Trueblood was the superintendent of said church and school.
Further investigation found that between Nov. 4, 2016 and April 19, 2017, the IP address accessed Chatstep and users by the names of “PervyPastor,” “True Rev,” “Kyle” and “Robert” were used. All of the screen names accessed similar chat rooms once on the site.
According to the criminal complaint, on April 20 an agent with ICAC went undercover and initiated a conversation with Trueblood on Chatstep.
Through their conversations the agent confirmed that Trueblood was a pastor and lived in the area of Fairmont.
The complaint states that Trueblood admitted to having “engaged” with males that were high school seniors and young college freshman. But he told the agent all were legal.
Later, the two began communicating through an encrypted email service.
According to the criminal complaint, while communicating on this service Trueblood admitted to having received a folder full of pornographic images depicting underage males. He also indicated he had been propositioned for sexual contact by those under the age of 18, but that he had not followed up with physical contact.
The ICAC obtained a search warrant on April 27 for St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church. During the search Trueblood’s computer was taken and several pornographic photos depicting children under 18 were found.
The complaint states that Trueblood was interviewed by police a short while later. During the interview he admitted to the conversations with the undercover officer.
If found guilty, Trueblood could face up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both.