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Former associate pastor, Arnold Mathis, has been indicted on federal child porn charges

2:50 PM, Nov 1, 2012   |    comments
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Lake Wales, Florida -- A federal grand jury has indicted a former associate youth minister on charges of producing and attempting to produce child porn.

Arnold Mathis was arrested in December 2011 after a man told Polk County Sheriff's detectives Mathis sexually battered him numerous times when he was 14 or 15 years old, while Mathis was a minister at a Winter Haven church. The victim came forward when he was 21 years old.

READ: Associate pastor arrested on child sexual battery charges

Mathis, a registered sex offender, is currently being prosecuted on five counts of Sexual Battery by a Person of Authority on a Child over 12 and under 18 by the Polk County State Attorney's Office.

The new federal indictment says between May and November of 2011, Mathis allegedly persuaded and tried to persuade two minors into engaging in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. At the time of the alleged offenses, Mathis was a youth minister and associate pastor at Higher Praise Ministries in Lake Wales.

Mathis, 41, is being charged with two counts of producing and attempting to produce child porn. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years, up to 50 years in federal prison for each count.

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