Wisconsin Pastor Arrested for Attempted Solicitation of Minor in Sting Operation

By Josh Shepherd
wisconsin pastor jason taylor
Jason James Taylor, pastor of Calvary Chapel Solid Rock in New Richmond, WI, has been arrested in a solicitation of minors sting operation conducted by authorities. (Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office)

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. 

According to a report in the 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.

In a 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. 

In a statement to media, 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. 

The Roys Report 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 statement, 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.”

UPDATE: 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.

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9 thoughts on “Wisconsin Pastor Arrested for Attempted Solicitation of Minor in Sting Operation”

  1. Tim W Callaway

    Note that, yet again, you have a church leader lamenting the effect this crime will have on the pastor’s family and the church family, no mention of victim(s) or their families. The legal authorities, on the other hand, are focused on the effect such crimes have on (potential) victims and their families.

    1. Robert Simpson

      Thank you pointing this out! So callous about victims. They should bring in independent investigators to talk with people in the church and in the nearby community to find out if the perpetrator has harmed local people and church people,and to discover if any leaders knew about his pedophila and failed to report it. An accounting audit also is needed. In Calvary Chapel model churches the “pastor” is in total charge…

    2. But the Pastor’s family and the church family ARE the victims here. Victims of the pastor’s actions anyway. There WAS no actual minor who was a victim in this story. When actual minors are involved, I rarely see a church whose heart doesn’t also go out to them.

  2. From the news in recent weeks it’s obvious all those Republicans upset about groomers need to start looking in churches rather than libraries and schools.

  3. “Yeah, Tim is probably right.

    Forget about the family. The wife and kids were probably in on it and they deserve to be humiliated and have their faith and family completely ripped apart.

    Obviously there is zero way they could be innocent bystanders in all of this, and whatever shame they get in school or the whispers they hear in the grocery store are probably well deserved”

    Said no one who actually loves Jesus or had a functional heart.

  4. It is always sad and hurtful to hear about these things coming from grown men who apparently don’t know how to deal with mature grown women. If this Pastor felt the need to go outside his marriage, that is one thing, albeit, a very sinful thing, but why must people like him deal with an immature young girl to mess up so that they will be damaged goods down the road, potentially stopping them from being able to connect with a man that could be their future husband. EVERYONE knows that adultery is sinful and wrong, BUT if you decide to cheat on your Wife, can you at least deal with another mature adult WOMAN? Obviously, I’m NOT advocating for such an act, I’m simply saying if a MAN decides he wants to mess up his life, please do it with another adult, not a child!

  5. Jennifer Eason

    No one seems to know at this point whether the former pastor was guilty of planning an immoral and illegal encounter with an imaginary partner, leading to his arrest, or if he had also previously trespassed in a similar way. Time, and police detective work, will tell, I hope.

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