MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A pastor at a Cottage Grove church is facing child pornography charges after police found sexually explicit images and videos of minors on his computer.
According to the criminal complaint, 47-year-od William Leonard Helker faces six counts of possession of child pornography.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension received CyberTip Reports from Facebook and Instagram saying a user, later identified as Helker, was suspected of possessing child pornography, the complaint states.
The reports identified multiple sexually explicit images exchanged between Helker and a suspect in Finland. That suspect was arrested Monday, according to Homeland Security.
The BCA executed a search warrant on Helker’s property Wednesday. Helker admitted he possessed child porn on his laptop and phone, according to the complaint. He estimated he had thousands of pornographic images and videos involving minors.
Helker is currently on administrative leave from his position as a pastor at All Saints Luthern Church.
In an interview with police, Helker said he took pictures of children at All Saints Lutheran Church events and edited them onto pornographic images.
Helker is being held at the Pine County Jail.