UPDATED February 12, 2014-- 6:15 p.m.
"It was a punch in the stomach to say the least," said Pastor Jason Mahnke of Peoples United Methodist Church in Oregon.
Mahnke said the Wisconsin Department of Justice and homeland security came into the church Monday with shocking news-- one of their employees had been arrested for possession of child pornography.
"They felt they had sufficient evidence raid his home for his computer software and that's when everything came uncovered," said Mahnke.
22-year-old Brandon Finch was the church's multimedia technician for about four years and part of the church since high school.
"He was socially awkward he wasn't really comfortable around people," said Mahnke. "We did background checks. We did everything we thought we could have done,"
Finch would take pictures at church functions. After being arrested for downloading child pornography on his computer, Manhke said officials found additional pictures of about six children from the church, fully clothed but inappropriate.
"The inapropriate pictures would be someone sitting in the chair with a dress hiked up a little bit and would focus on that area," said Mahnke. "He would not upload those to our church network and he would take them home."
The church also houses the Little Angels Christian Preschool 4K program. While none of the kids involved in that program were those found in the pictures, the Oregon School district sent out a letter to parents Monday.
"Any time there's a safety concern for our student we take that seriously," said Oregon Schools Superintendent, Brian Busler.
"Just that someone could look at children in this way was horrific," said Mahnke.
Mahnke said Finch used his personal camera at work, and that's a policy they're looking to change along with others. The church will have a meeting on Sunday at noon to answer any questions.
Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2014 --- 12:14 p.m.
A former employee of the People's United Methodist Church in Oregon is accused of taking inappropriate pictures of children.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Brandon Finch was arrested Monday and booked into the Dane Co. Jail on a tentative charge of possession of child pornography.
The DOJ, Homeland Security and Oregon Police cooperated in the arrest.
The Oregon School District sent the following letter in regards to the arrest.
Dear Oregon Parents/Guardians,
The US Department of Homeland Security and the Wisconsin Department of Justice have contacted the District regarding an investigation they are conducting in Oregon, Wisconsin.
The investigation involves allegations against a former employee of the People’s United Methodist Church of taking inappropriate pictures of children during church related activities. As a precautionary measure, investigators are also asking for the names of all students who have attended Little Angels Christian Preschool 4K program (located within People’s United Methodist Church) for the past 4 years. Parents of these students are being notified because their child is a participant in this 4K program or was a participant in the past four years.
The Homeland Security and Wisconsin Department of Justice authorities have told us the individual in question has been arrested. The District is fully cooperating with the authorities in this matter.
We regret these alleged incidents may have occurred and remain steadfast in helping Oregon families.
Dr. Brian S. Busler