Former Louisiana Pastor Sentenced to 60 Years in Child Porn Case

John Michael Ward, 45
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Department

A judge sentenced a former Westlake, Louisiana, pastor to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges.

John Michael Ward, 45, pleaded guilty on November 29, 2019, to two counts of child pornography production and was sentenced last week to 30 years per charge to run consecutively, the Associated Press reported.

If he were ever to be released, Ward would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Ward used to be the pastor of Bellview Baptist Church in Westlake, Louisiana, where he had served since 2012. Authorities say he was arrested in 2019 for raping a child for more than two years, KPLC reported.

After the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation, Ward told detectives he molested a girl since she was nine years old and took nude videos of her on two separate occasions.

Ward faces additional charges in state district court.

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