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Denison pastor gets 30 years for child porn violations

Secret Cameras at Church Recorded 11 to 14-year-olds Undressing, Bathing
Federal prosecutors say Denison pastor David Pettigrew and Anna chiropractor Chad Michael Rider...
Federal prosecutors say Denison pastor David Pettigrew and Anna chiropractor Chad Michael Rider coerced children into sexually explicit photos and then shared them online.(KXII)
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 11:17 AM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - The former Denison pastor who pleaded guilty in April to child sex crimes was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, federal prosecutors announced Monday.

David Alan Pettigrew, 49, pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of children, conspiracy and attempt was given 360 months by U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant on Monday.

Pettigrew came to the attention of law enforcement through referrals sent by two electronic service providers and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which indicated that a user had uploaded files of suspected child pornography. 

Investigators traced the leads to Pettigrew’s home in Denison and the Denison Church of the Nazarene.  Members of Homeland Security Investigations and the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office served search warrants at both locations on August 6, 2020, at which time Pettigrew was arrested for transporting child pornography.

As the investigation progressed, investigators discovered that Pettigrew and co-defendant Chad Michael Rider had set up hidden cameras in various locations in order to capture children in various stages of undress.  On August 19, 2020, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Pettigrew with transportation of child pornography and both Pettigrew and Rider with conspiring to and attempting to sexually exploit children (a/k/a production of child pornography).

As part of his plea, Pettigrew admitted to conspiring with Rider to record minors, including while the minors were nude, at locations in Collin and Grayson counties.  The videos were filmed using various hidden cameras, including cameras disguised as hooks, clocks, a picture frame, a smoke detector, an AC wall adapter, charging blocks, and a pen.  Pettigrew further admitted that he secretly filmed a child in his home and that he and Rider filmed children undressing, bathing, and toweling off at the Denison Church of the Nazarene in Grayson County.  The children were all approximately 11 to 14-years old at the time they were unknowingly recorded.

The case against Rider is ongoing and remains pending.

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