The lead pastor of an evangelical church in northwest Wisconsin has been arrested in a solicitation of minors sting operation conducted by state and local authorities.
Jason James Taylor, 47, lead pastor of Calvary Chapel Solid Rock in New Richmond, Wisconsin, was among six people arrested following a sting operation led by the Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force.
Agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension posted on a commercial sex website, posing as minors offering sexual acts for payment.
De acuerdo a un informe en el St. Paul Pioneer Press, an agent chatted with Taylor via messaging and sent a “decoy” picture of a girl appearing to be under 18. Taylor agreed to pay $80 for a sex act.
Once Taylor confirmed he was fine with the girl being 17, they arranged to meet at a nearby hotel. When he arrived on the specified floor of the hotel, agents arrested the pastor.
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Taylor and four other men were booked at Washington County Jail in Stillwater on felony charges of attempting to solicit minors for sex. A sixth man was booked at Ramsey County Jail in St. Paul for probable cause promotion of prostitution and sex trafficking.
en un news release, state investigators revealed that “four victims were recovered from trafficking situations” but did not provide specifics. Local victims advocate group Breaking Free has provided victim recovery services.
En un comunicado a medios de comunicación, Calvary Chapel Solid Rock associate pastor Brian Sullivan called it a “sensitive issue” and said his public comment was limited by the ongoing investigation.
“It’s a sad thing,” said Sullivan. “This is a lose-lose scenario for the community and the people impacted by it. The worst thing is what this will do to his family — and the church family.”
While the church’s website does not currently mention Taylor, the Calvary Global Network church locator lists Taylor as lead pastor. According to an online bio, Taylor is a graduate of Calvary Chapel Bible College in southern California.
El Informe Roys reached out to Calvary Chapel Solid Rock and to the Calvary Chapel national association but did not hear back.
The operation led by the Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force was assisted by the East Metro Sex Trafficking Task Force and the Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking Task Force. In a declaración, Washington County attorney Kevin Magnuson provided perspective on the sting.
“These arrests demonstrate that the market for juvenile commercial sex is not confined to limited segments of society,” said Magnuson. “The buyers come from all walks of life and each are responsible for the tremendous harm to the victims, their families and the public that sex trafficking causes.”
ACTUALIZAR: Following publication of this story, Calvary Chapel Solid Rock associate pastor Brian Sullivan e-mailed on August 5, 2022 with an additional statement, which has been reprinted in full below.
I appreciate your reaching out to us regarding the recent charges of misconduct by Jason Taylor. As this is a legal matter that is currently under investigation and working its way through the judicial system, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.
Based on the information that has been made public through the court and press, we are very grateful there was no actual “victim” involved since this was a police operation and the only people he communicated with were members of the police. If that was not the case, we would do all we could to assist and support them. Our focus is on supporting his wife and their children as this situation moves forward as well as our congregation and neighbors.
Jason has been released from the pastoral staff and all responsibilities and roles within Calvary Chapel Solid Rock.
I would respectfully ask that if you refer to this in your work, that you include a request that those of faith join us in prayer for all the involved parties, their families, and any others impacted by this matter.