An associate pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church in Hurst, Texas, explained to local police why he kept child pornography on his computer. According to a search warrant, James Rankin, 78, said that he stored the photographs in order “to remind himself of what other people like to look at.” Rankin is alleged to have said that he kept approximately 50 pornographic images of children because he was researching a “possible lesson involving Cupid, love and human trafficking seven to eight years ago.”
Police however, found that the images appeared to be of the “home-made”variety, according to the affidavit.
He was arrested on March 23 after he brought in his home computer to a local Best Buy store for repairs. Best Buy employees called police to report that they had found objectionable material on it. After receiving the tip, police initiated their investigation. Ranking returned to the Best Buy store when requested by police.
When Ranking gave permission to officers to look at his files, an officer saw pictures of nude children aged 8 to 10 on an Apple iMac.
Rankin told police that he was curious to know how bad human trafficking is, according to the affidavit.
Police say officials at the Bellevue Baptist Church claim that Rankin did not use or have access to a church computer. Ranking brought his own computer instead. The affidavit said that Rankin never left his computer at the church. Rankins’ computers, digital cameras, and computer storage devices have been seized bey police.. He now fades a charge of possessing child porn.