A youth minister in Los Alamos has been arrested for child pornography found on his church computer. Recently unsealed federal documents show late last year federal agents raided the Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church and seized the computers, disks and hard drives used by 58-year-old Matthew Nichols. The federal indictment indicates that at least three pornographic pictures of minors had been found in Nichols files.... [And] today those indictments showed prior convictions on child sex charges stemming out of Pennsylvania.
[Congregation President Jerry] Ethridge says the church consistently runs background checks on church members and parents who chaperon children and somehow Nichols had passed two such tests without raising any red flags. "Even in the background investigation and the interviews with him and the references none of that information came up," he said.
A Cocoa youth pastor was supposed to be a role model, but he's been arrested for sexting a teenager instead. WFTV learned Friday that there's more to Jermel Manns than that one sex crime. Manns is a convicted sex offender from Illinois who never registered locally, and he got a youth pastor job from his uncle.... for the past two years he was actually living in Brevard County under the name Jermel Beckford, or as his youth group at church called him, Pastor J. The senior pastor at the church, and Jermel's uncle, Errol Beckford, said he knew nothing of his past and was stunned to hear of his arrest. “I says, what? Are you kidding me? He was a good pastor. He had 75 kids here." [So his uncle didn't suspect something was up with his nephew—despite the fact that his nephew was living under an assumed name?]