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Lutheran pastor from Godfrey gets 7+ years for child porn

Lutheran pastor from Godfrey gets 7+ years for child porn

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EAST ST. LOUIS — A Lutheran pastor from Godfrey was sentenced Thursday in federal court here to seven years and three months in federal prison on child porn charges, prosecutors said.

Steven P. Tibbetts, 62, began viewing and sharing child pornography in the 1990s and continued until his arrest in June of 2020, prosecutors said, amassing a collection of 2,430 child porn images and 408 videos. After he was released from jail while his case was pending, an officer found additional computer storage devices containing child porn in his home, they said.

The investigation began when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from the social media site Tumblr that a user named "youarenaughty" had uploaded child porn, charging documents say, and that account was traced to Tibbetts.

In addition to the prison time, Tibbetts was ordered to pay $10,000 to some of the victims shown in the images and videos.

Tibbetts became a pastor in 1992 and was head pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Godfrey at the time of his arrest, prosecutors said.

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