- Associated Press - Thursday, May 10, 2018

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - A former Michigan pastor faces federal charges on allegations he coerced underage girls to engage in sex acts online.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday alleged FBI agents were investigating a chatroom-based website when they learned Jackie Douglas Woodburn, 63, had been contacting minors. The chatroom attracts men who pose as youths “to sexually exploit minor teenage and preteen girls,” according to the complaint.

Woodburn was an associate pastor in Port Huron before retiring this year. He’s also a licensed counselor.

Investigators interviewed at 13-year-old girl from Texas, who recalled talking to someone online claiming to be 15. She told investigators the individual asked for sexually explicit photos and that she perform similar acts on a web camera.

Authorities traced the purported 15-year-old’s IP address, which identifies a computer’s location, back to Woodburn’s Burtchville Township home. Investigators found at least 70,000 chat messages, some asking girls to send sexually explicit photos, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleged that Woodburn admitted to visiting the chatroom website and portraying himself as a teenager.

Woodburn faces charges for producing child pornography, and coercion and enticement. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 23.

Woodburn’s attorney, Gerry Mason, said allegations haven’t been proven. He said the case is “very preliminary and very premature, and no one has been convicted of anything.”

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