Ex-pastor pleads guilty to showing sex pictures of himself - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Ex-pastor pleads guilty to showing sex pictures of himself

Ex-pastor pleads guilty to showing sex pictures of himself

The former pastor of a Muskegon church pleaded guilty in court Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure, admitting he showed a female church member nude pictures of himself and his wife.

The crime to which Jerry Lee DePoy Jr. pled occurred while he was pastor of Lakeshore Community Church, according to the offense date on the court file and a church member.

DePoy Jr., 33, of 1046 Amherst, Roosevelt Park, appeared before 60th District Judge Michael J. Nolan, who set sentencing for Nov. 24.

The offense carries a possible sentence of one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

When interviewed by police, DePoy said he had violated God's law but not man's, the report said.

On Thursday, DePoy told The Chronicle: "I'm a very broken person, desperately in need of grace, like everyone else. I love my family and we are in pursuit of healing. I will continue to seek the forgiveness of those in our community."

Norton Shores Detective Timothy LaVigne said the indecent exposure charge involved the showing of nude and sexually explicit photos of adults to a woman church member.

DePoy invited the woman to meet with him at a Norton Shores cafe on Feb. 20 to discuss her "journey through God," according to the police report.

During the meeting, DePoy made inappropriate sexual comments and asked sex-related personal questions, the report said. Police also reported that DePoy told the woman he had pictures he wanted to show her on his cell phone.

The woman told police she indicated she did not want to see the pictures, but that DePoy slid the phone in front of her.

The police report said the woman saw a picture of male and female genitalia, and that DePoy then told her it was a picture of him and his wife. Police said DePoy had taken the photo himself.

Both LaVigne and Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague said DePoy still is being investigated for similar offenses.

"We have seized a computer as well as other video items, which are being examined by the State Police crime lab," Tague said. Police used a search warrant to confiscated those items on Oct. 3.

Kimi Zimmerman, office administrator for Lakeshore Community Church, said DePoy "stepped down from his position the first Sunday of March ... because he had admitted to some issues of a sexual nature that he was dealing with."

The church currently meets in the auditorium of Muskegon Catholic Central, but has a mailing address of 2330 Barclay, which is the former Moose Lodge.

The church actually began in the DePoy living room, but eventually members worshipped in the old Harbor Theater building on Lakeshore Drive as the congregation grew. DePoy, in a 2007 interview with The Chronicle, said as many as 350 people sometimes attended the church.

In explaining the criminal charge, Tague said a state Court of Appeals decision stemming from a Grand Rapids case indicates that the charge can include photographic or video images.

"You cannot take indecent pictures of yourself and expose those images in public places," the prosecutor said. The woman victim "says she didn't want to look at them and he just showed them to her," he said.

DePoy is free on a $1,000 signature bond.
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