Friday, August 11, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Minister accused of buying child porn

A Newark, Ohio, minister and his wife were jailed yesterday on charges of possessing child pornography.

David H. Waser ordered 11 sexually explicit videotapes involving juveniles, some as young as 4, from an undercover postal inspector in Missouri, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

Waser, 57, and his wife, Judy, 54, are scheduled to appear in federal court today in Columbus to decide whether they will be held in jail pending trial. They were in the Franklin County jail last night.

Waser has been removed as minister of Newark's Second Church of Christ at 19 S. Williams St., his son confirmed yesterday from the family home at 617 W. Main St. in Newark. The son was too upset to say any more.

Postal inspectors tracking the order said they searched the Wasers' home on July 19 after the package of 11 tapes was delivered.

They found the package open and one tape in the couple's videotape player. That tape was described as involving two 10-year-old boys and two 11-year-old girls.

Waser told inspectors that he'd discussed ordering the videotapes with his wife, the complaint says. He said she was aware they contained minors engaged in sex, but not aware of the number of videos he ordered.

During their search, inspectors said, they seized four computers from the home, a video camera and several hundred videos on CD, DVD and tape.

Waser ordered the 11 tapes in June from an Internet site offering hard-core child pornography and sent a $130 money order to pay for them, the complaint says.

The undercover inspector sent a letter to Mr. Waser on July 12 saying Waser needed to e-mail him "code words" to ensure neither one of them was being set up.

"A number of individuals do not agree or understand the material,'' the inspector wrote.

The inspector said Waser responded with the code words, telling the seller he was glad he was being cautious. Waser also wrote, "I have never ordered anything like this and my wife and I are excited,'' the complaint says.

Records kept by the Ohio secretary of state's office say Mr. Waser was licensed as a minister in 1983 at the Church of Christ in Hubbard in northeastern Ohio. He became minister at the Newark church in 2001.

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A postal inspector says the 57-year-old minister admitted in interviews that he touched several children inappropriately during the past 37 years. He says an undercover inspector sold the couple ten videotapes containing child porn. Some involved children as young as four.

The postal official says the pastor admitted exposing himself to children at church camp and pretending it was an accident.

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