Home Christian News Youth Pastor Among Seven Arrested for Child Pornography in Floyd County, GA

Youth Pastor Among Seven Arrested for Child Pornography in Floyd County, GA

Austin Wray Perkins
Pictured: Austin Wray Perkins (via Fox 5 Atlanta)

25-year-old youth pastor Austin Wray Perkins is one of six adults who were arrested along with one teenager in Floyd County, GA on multiple charges related to the production and distribution of child pornography. Police discovered and rescued an underaged victim who had been living with Perkins and had been a victim of molestation and exploitation. 

In a press conference held on Thursday (March 10), Sergeant Chris Fincher of the Floyd County Police Department shared that the arrests were a part of a joint two-day operation with the Secret Service Cyber Crimes Task Force, dubbed “Operation Spring Cleaning.” 

“Everyone arrested in this operation was found to be in possession of child pornography that was being circulated worldwide and stored locally on hard drives and devices,” Fincher said. 

Fincher went on to express excitement about the fact that one underaged victim is now safe, saying, “The big news today is that we were able to rescue one teen who was living in the home where assaults were occurring and child pornography was being produced.”

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“Even if that was the only case we were able to report today, we’re excited that we were able to rescue that child from that home,” Fincher said. 

Perkins has been accused of “coaching the child about how to act in videos and also engaging in acts of child molestation,” and police said that the child had no family support and had come under the care of Perkins. 

Investigators recovered phones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles, and cameras from the suspects, amounting to gigabytes of sexually explicit material involving minors. Fincher explained that police worked from tips they received from the public, filing for and executing search warrants after being alerted to suspicious activity. 

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“The images that were found on these devices were very graphic in nature. Some of these pictures depicted sex acts with children between the ages of two and 12 years old,” Fincher said. “This is very obscene material, and we’re very happy to get just a small bit of it off the streets.” 

Those arrested included the youth pastor Austin Wray Perkins, 25, who was charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of children and aggravated child molestation and Jackie Steve Autry, 65, who was charged with sexual exploitation of children and possession of methamphetamine, both of whom remain in custody without bond. 

Those who have been released on bond include Richard Castleman, 26, who was charged with computer pornography; Jason Gass, 27, who was charged with computer pornography, possession of marijuana, THC oil, and drug-related objects; Tyler Johnson, 22, who was charged with computer pornography; and Joab Stewart, 24, who was charged with sexual exploitation of children. 

Details regarding the arrest of the seventh suspect have not been released, as that suspect is a minor. 

The investigation is ongoing, and Floyd County police anticipate that more arrests will be forthcoming in the near future.