The man grinning in his mugshot below is a Baptist pastor in North Carolina, where he was recently arrested and charged with twelve counts of disseminating obscene materials to a minor and two counts of statutory sex offense.
Local police announced the arrest of 48-year-old Pastor Kevin “Scott” Heffner on Thursday. The authorities stated that he is also the principal of the church’s school for grades 3-12, and that he’s being held on a $1 million bond.
HEFFNER is the Pastor of Victory Baptist Church and the Principal of Victory Baptist Academy…
This investigation is ongoing. Information about the minor involved is not being released by the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office didn’t release much in the way of details, but we’ve learned from outside reporting that the “obscene materials” he sent to the victim were pictures of his penis.
Arrest warrants show that the obscene materials were “photographs of his genitalia.” The statutory sex offense allegedly took place between June 15 and Aug. 29. The victim was 15 or younger at the time of the offense, warrants show…
During his first appearance Thursday, he was ordered not to contact the victim, the victim’s family or any of the state’s witnesses. Heffner was appointed an attorney by the judge.
The sheriff’s office continues to investigate. Church members said Thursday they did not want to comment on the charges.
While we don’t have any more details on the alleged “statutory sex offense,” that entails something physical. Considering the age of the victim (under 15), it’s not surprising church members don’t want to comment.
We also don’t know for sure if the victim was a church member or a student at the school, or both. We do know, however, that Heffner had unfettered access to kids through both of his jobs. We can also guess that, like many religious leaders, people trusted Heffner with their young children in part because of his position in the church.
That trust was clearly misplaced. Even worse, a story like this is hardly an anomaly. So when will churchgoers notice the trend and take action on it? When will they demand rigorous background checks at church and religious schools? When will they demand rules preventing religious authorities from spending time alone with other people’s kids? When will they demand stronger reporting policies when suspicious behavior is suspected or witnessed?
And when will they walk out of their churches for good, considering even their leaders didn’t even take their morality code seriously?