Rev. Michael Jay Brown Martinez GA Charged with Child Molestation

My thanks to the Augusta Chronicle for this story.

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By Jeremy Craig

An assistant pastor at an area church has been charged with covertly videotaping underneath the skirts of teenage girls at Augusta Mall, officials said Friday.

The Rev. Michael Jay Brown, 41, of Candlewood Drive in Martinez, was charged with child molestation, clandestine surveillance and being a peeping Tom, Richmond County jail records state.

The Rev. Brown is listed as an assistant pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Martinez on the jail record and on the church’s Web site.

Richmond County sheriff’s Maj. Ken Autry said the Rev. Brown was jailed Thursday night.

Investigators found that the Rev. Brown had placed a video camera in a shopping bag, and while at Augusta Mall, pointed the camera upward and filmed up the skirts of two girls, Maj. Autry said.

Neither girl had any idea initially that they were being filmed, the major said.

According to the initial incident report filed with the sheriff’s office, the incident happened Tuesday afternoon.

The victims are not from Augusta, the report states, but have listed addresses in Emanuel and Candler counties, more than 70 miles south of Augusta.

Maj. Autry said investigators are checking the reverend’s work computer to see if there are other images of a similar nature.

Messages to the church and to its denomination, the Lawrenceville-based Presbyterian Church in America, were not returned as of early Friday evening.

The Rev. Brown also was a volunteer with the Court-Appointed Special Advocate program.

Program volunteers speak up for abused and neglected children in the foster care system.

Dan Hillman, the executive director of Child Enrichment Inc., which administers the program, said officials were speaking with the office of Juvenile Court Judge Herbert E. Kernaghan Jr. to have the pastor removed from the single case he was appointed to at the time of his arrest.

He said the Rev. Brown will be terminated as a program volunteer.

“It’s pretty devastating,” Mr. Hillman said.

“(The Rev.) Brown had clear local and state background checks,” he said.

All volunteers must submit to extensive criminal background checks for the program.

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