Federal Grand Jury Indicts Church Staff Member for Producing, Receiving, and Possessing Child Pornography
BIRMINGHAM—A federal grand jury last week indicted a Shelby County man on multiple charges of producing, receiving and possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton.
A four-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges JASON MICHAEL HANKINS, 34, with the production, receipt and possession of child pornography in 2013. Hankins found at least one of his victims by seeking out a single mother on a Christian dating website. Hankins worked at Shades Crest Baptist Church as part of the Family Life Center staff, assisting in the planning and coordinating of recreational activities.
The maximum penalty for producing child pornography is 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, per count. The maximum penalty for each count of receiving and possessing child pornography is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Hutzell is prosecuting.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.