New charges against Durbanville ‘Porn Pastor’

The Rondebosch church youth leader has appeared in court.

A Rondebosch church youth leader nicknamed the “Porn Pastor” has been arrested again … this time at his home in Durbanville.

The 26-year-old professional photographer and author of Christian counselling books faces fresh charges involving the sexual grooming of teenagers while out on bail.

He appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Friday after police made a dramatic swoop on his Durbanville home, which had been under surveillance for the past fortnight.

The UCT Master’s graduate in environmental and geographical science cut a sombre figure in the dock where he stood clutching his Bible during his brief hearing, which was remanded for a March 27 bail application.

Just six months ago the suspect was bust by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit at Common Ground Church for the alleged serial sexual grooming of more than 60 teenage boy congregants.

That September 6 arrest followed a tip-off from a senior church official whose 14-year-old son had allegedly been groomed.

The latest arrest, on Wednesday March 14, according to an informed source, was the result of months of investigation after minors began reporting in January that they had been groomed on Instagram by someone using a modus operandi similar to the one that had allegedly duped dozens of the church’s children previously.

Investigators this week seized a laptop, cellphones and memory cards when they searched the suspect’s rented home at a secure Durbanville housing estate.

The arrest was executed dramatically in minutes after the suspect unexpectedly left his bail address and turned into Lubbe Road driving a black Ford Fiesta, said a witness.

A squad of half-a-dozen detectives reportedly overtook the suspect and pulled him to the side of the road.

He was detained at Bellville police station in connection with charges relating to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act. Charges of dealing and distributing child porn might be added.

Common Ground Church praised the latest developments in the case that has rocked their congregation.

The suspect’s last court appearance was in late January in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

He allegedly groomed more than 60 teenage boys over two years. According to police sources, his alleged modus operandi involved creating several aliases of sexy teenage girls on Instagram and WhatsApp to extort his young teenage congregants to send him naked photos of themselves. And if they refused, he allegedly threatened to out them on social media.

The suspect was a school sports photographer and was also known for his photography of teenage surfers at popular Cape Peninsula surfing spots.