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Pastor Charged with Child Pornography

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio
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July 19, 2006

A former Peace Lutheran Church Associate Pastor is charged with child porn and video taping adults without their knowledge.

The former Peace Lutheran Church Associate Pastor, Gregory Briehl, faced two judges on Wednesday. A General District Court judge set a $2,500 bond for 52-year-old Briehl on two counts of videotaping non-consenting adults and a Juvenile Relations Court judge set the bond at $100,000 for another charge, 20 counts of possession of child pornography.

"I'm in total shock, this is a small neighborhood and all the kids play together," said Ava Kessler.

Kessler is a mother of two who just found out her neighbor, Gregory Briehl is in police custody for possessing child porn on his computer. Prosecutors charged him with 20 counts.

"Definitely 20 charges are a lot of charges for possession of child pornography," said Lt. John Teixeira, of the Albemarle County Police Department.

Albemarle County Police said Briehl also placed video cameras around his home, taping women and possibly children without them even knowing it. Court documents show Briehl's wife found out and tipped off police.

"We went out [and] obtained several search warrants which we served on both businesses and private residences throughout the county and the city," said Lt. Teixeira.

One of those places was Peace Lutheran Church in Charlottesville where Briehl was a counselor and an associate pastor. Church officials said they had not idea Briehl was involved in this activity at his home, and that they are not aware of any similar incidents happening on church property.

It still scares neighbors like Kessler to think there child could be a victim.

"I think this stuff happens all over and you can never be too careful and those are the important things," said Kessler.

Police believe there are more victims that have not been identified on the video tapes. They are asking anyone who thinks they may have been a victim to come forward and contact Detective Chuck Marshall at 434-296-5807.


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