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Saturday, August 20, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Ex-pastor admits videotaping up girl's skirt

AUGUSTA — A former pastor has admitted in court to videotaping under the skirt of a teenage girl at a mall last summer.

Michael Jay Brown is a former assistant pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Martinez. He pleaded guilty Thursday to child molestation and was sentenced to 10 years probation, a $5,000 fine and 200 hours of community service.

Before his July 2004 arrest, Brown also was a volunteer working with abused and neglected children. He lost both positions after his arrest.

At his sentencing, Brown said he is thankful he was arrested. He has been to a residential treatment program and now attends counseling for sex addiction.

He vowed to never do it again.

Brown said he got the idea of taping under skirts from Internet web sites. He said he didn't think it was illegal or would harm anyone at the time. But he said he now understands his acts were an invasion of privacy.

In July 1986, Brown was arrested for peeping into a woman's bedroom window. He said in his police statement then: "Believe me, I'll never do it again."

Thursday's child molestation conviction means Brown will have to register as a sex offender and abide by strict rules while on probation. As a condition of probation, he is not to have any contact with children other than family members.

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