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Christian Schoolteacher Caught With Child Sex Abuse Material Faces Prison Time

By Sheila Stogsdill
baumgarth teacher
In a video posted on Sept. 2, 2020, First Presbyterian Day School Head Cross Country Coach Christian Baumgarth talks to students and families. (Video screengrab)

A former Christian schoolteacher and youth ministry leader in Georgia pleaded guilty on Monday to a federal charge of possessing child sexual abuse material.

Christian Baumgarth, 27, of Atlanta, faces up to two decades in prison after his conviction on one count of possession of child pornography in U.S. District Court of Middle District of Georgia, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for that district.

Baumgarth was a math teacher and an assistant cross country and track and field coach at First Presbyterian Day School in Macon, Ga. He worked there from 2018 to 2023, authorities indicated. He was also a volunteer small group leader in the student ministry at Northway Church in Macon from 2019 to 2023.

First Presbyterian Day School’s head of school John Patterson issued a statement saying Baumgarth was terminated in August 2023. He added that authorities had told him there was no evidence of any involvement with the school’s students, Macon television station WMAZ reported.  

Baumgarth’s arrest came amid a Homeland Security investigation into people using encrypted applications to distribute child sex abuse material during the summer of 2023.

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northway church baumgarth
Northway Church in Macon, Georgia. (Photo: Facebook)

On Aug. 1, 2023, federal agents seized numerous electronic devices at Baumgarth’s residence. Two of Baumgarth’s iPhones contained 20 images and 13 videos of children, prosecutors indicated.  Some of the images depicted an infant or toddler being sexually abused.

Baumgarth was originally indicted on two counts of possession and two counts of distribution, WMAZ reported. 

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Christian Baumgarth (Photo via social media)

“Sadly, those who perpetuate the online abuse of children can sometimes be found hiding in plain sight and interacting with children,” U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said in a press release. “Our office and law enforcement at every level are working tirelessly to protect children from predators, and I commend the investigative work done in this case.”

“Those in positions of public trust are held to a higher standard as guardians of the innocent … with our law enforcement partners, will continue to seek justice for these victims by pursuing and holding accountable the predators dealing in this material,”said Anthony J. Patrone, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta, which oversees Georgia and Alabama.

Baumgarth is set to be sentenced in October. In addition to prison time, the former teacher faces up to a $250,000 fine, and he will be required to register as a sex offender upon leaving prison.

Sheila Stogsdill is a freelance print journalist and digital reporter, primarily covering crime issues for KSN/KODE.

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4 Responses

  1. “Those in positions of public trust are held to a higher standard as guardians of the innocent …”

    “Sadly, those who perpetuate the online abuse of children can sometimes be found hiding in plain sight and interacting with children,” U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said in a press release.

    If people outside the church can understand this, why don’t those in the church accept these same standards as the bare minimum which should be applied in the house of worship/service? The first standard is a biblical standard as well — those who teach and lead are held to higher standards, not lower.

    Nothing the visible church uses to justify lying about, covering for, exonerating, minimizing or hiding child sexual abuse, clergy sexual abuse, financial frauds and so much more will stand before the scrutiny of Christ. So many who believe that because it is hidden from human eyes it is hidden before God are wrong. He sees it all. What is done in the dark will come out in the light.

  2. Fifty one years ago, “Pigs In The Parlor” was published having been authored by Frank Hammond. Demonic possession is real, and it is one of four areas of public ministry which Yahshua addressed and commanded in terms of deliverance; the other three: Cleansing the leper, healing the sick, raising the dead. Two decades in prison will be just about sufficient time for this man who is clearly possessed, having had in his possession images of infants and toddlers being sexually assaulted.

    1. While I respect your beliefs, I do not share them in this sense: Attributing to demon possession a schoolteacher’s keeping and distributing CSA images lets the criminal off too easily.

      In my opinion, this type of crime isn’t a matter of “a demon made me do it.” Rather, IMHO it is a deep-seated twist of his mind and soul. It is evidence of sin and evil, to be sure; perhaps even evidence of the offender’s own past trauma. Through truthful confession, genuine repentance, and a whole lot of intensive expert guidance, one day this guy might learn to manage his impulses. But most evidence I’ve seen on the recidivist nature of p***philia indicates he will never be completely free of it, even if the world’s most effective exorcist goes to work on him. You can do your own research on “recidivism in p***philia” and check me on that statement.

      If exorcism was an effective, proven, reproducible tool to cast out p***phile demons, believe me, the criminal probation system would have exorcists on retainer and have offenders lined up outside the exorcist’s office. The recidivist nature of these criminals is the reason our laws require these guys to register. It is the reason why churches need to inform their congregations when one of these p***philes comes out of prison and wants to attend, or serve in, church again.

      While I would love to think that casting out a demon or two (or three) would solve this guy’s criminal predilection, I don’t think it would.

      1. Brent – I would have to agree with your evaluation of this. As a professional therapist, I have 1st hand experience with the addictive/recidivistic patterns in these cases

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Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “What If Jesus Was Serious about the Church?” by Skye Jethani.