Former pastor and counselor sentenced to 17 years for sexual exploitation of children

Jackie Douglas Woodburn, 64, of Burtchville, Michigan. [Image credit: Times Herald]

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“It’s completely reprehensible for any person — let alone a pastor and counselor — to abuse young children in this way,” said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider in a statement released by the Department of Justice. “We hope this sentencing will bring some closure to the innocent victims and their families who were so badly harmed by the defendant.”

 

"By the nature of his position, Mr. Woodburn was entrusted with protecting the mental and spiritual health of his community," said Special Agent in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the Detroit Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "But he was a wolf in sheep's clothing - looking to prey on the most vulnerable members of our society. Our office remains committed to working with our state and local partners to find and hold accountable this type of sexual predator."

 

According to the Times Herald, the FBI had been conducting an investigation into possible sexual exploitation of children occurring on a chatroom-based website.

 

During an interview with a girl from Texas, investigators learned that she had been contacted by someone identifying themselves as a 15 year old boy.  This individual would reportedly send sexually explicit messages and tell her what he wanted to see on a webcam.

 

According to the complaint, the FBI traced the IP of those communications to the Burtchville home of Jackie Doublas Woodburn, 64, a pastor and director of the Colonial Woods Christian Counseling Center in Port Huron where he worked for 28 years.

 

On February 22, 2018 a search warrant was served at the residence of the married father of three.  Police seized two laptops where investigators recovered at least 70,000 Skype chat messages including conversations where he tried to get teen girls to send him sexually explicit images.

 

According to the criminal complaint filed against him, Woodburn is said to have confessed to investigators that he would go to the website and pose as a teenage boy. "Woodburn further admitted to engaging in sexually explicit conversations with teenage females on Website A and masturbating as a result of the conversations."

 

Despite that, at his arraignment, Woodburn entered a plea of not guilty on charges of producing or attempting to produce child pornography, receipt or possession of child pornography, and coercion.

 

Specifically identified in court documents his victims were a 12-year-old girl from Texas, a 13-year-old girl from Kansas, as well as attempts to entice a 9-year-old girl from Virginia.  Investigators state that they identified several other victims not named in the indictment.

 

On Wednesday, January 15th, Woodburn was sentenced by Judge Paul D. Borman to 17 years in prison.  Once released, he will have an additional 5 years of supervised release.

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