More details released in case involving former youth leader at Southland Christian Church

gkocher1@herald-leader.comSeptember 21, 2012 

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    Anyone with information about a person using the alias Zachary Blight Carter is asked to contact Detective Cassandra Mullins of the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch at (502) 782-9769.

DANVILLE — A text sent accidentally from a former youth leader at Danville's Southland Christian Church campus to a Lexington teen led to a month-long exchange of sexual emails between the two, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed Friday in Boyle District Court.

The affidavit, obtained by the Herald-Leader, says it is "reasonably likely" that Jonathan David Hall contacted "other minors in sexual communications."

Hall, 29, of Danville was charged this week with unlawful use of electronic means to induce a 15-year-old Lexington girl to engage in sexual activities. Hall was released from the Boyle County jail on Friday after posting $1,000, which was10 percent of a $10,000 bond.

Boyle District Judge Jeff Dotson said in an order Friday that Hall is to have electronic monitoring. Hall is not confined to his home but is to be allowed to attend appointments with a doctor or attorney, the order said. However, Hall is not permitted to leave the state, the order said.

Hall is prohibited from using the Internet and is to have no contact with the girl.

Chris Hahn, the lead executive pastor at Southland Christian Church, said Thursday that Hall had been a youth leader at the church's Danville campus but "was recently released." Hahn did not say how long Hall had worked at the church.

Police released few details about the case, but the search affidavit answers some questions and provides a time line.

According to the affidavit, the texts between Hall and the Lexington girl came to light on March 24, when Lexington police took a report from a mother who said she had seen suspicious texts on her daughter's iPhone.

The texts were from a person saved as "Prince Charming" in the daughter's contacts. The contacts also listed Prince Charming as Zachary Blight Carter. Several texts asked the girl whether she was deleting the texts and photos the two were sending each other, the affidavit says.

The girl told Lexington police officer Chy'anne Krugler that she had sent nude photos to "Zach." The girl said she had never met Zach but had communicated with him via texts and email, the document says.

The girl said she came to know Zach when he accidentally sent a text to her cellphone about a month before the March 24 police interview.

Zach had sent the girl several photos "he claimed were of him with different women," and that Zach had told her the photos were taken at a church camp last summer. The girl said she did not know the women in the photos although she had attended the same camp.

Officer Krugler asked the mother if she had checked her daughter's email, and the mother said she had not. When she checked the email, the mother discovered a photo of an erect penis sent from Zach, the affidavit says.

Krugler then contacted Lexington police Detective David Flannery. In a follow-up interview on March 27, the girl told Flannery that the original text message from Zach had sought a person named Ann. The girl responded that she was not Ann, the warrant says.

The two texted and exchanged photos via email over several days. Zach described himself as an 18-year-old University of Kentucky student.

Det. Flannery determined that the text messages came from a phone account that belonged to Jon Hall with a Denmark Drive address in Danville. Flannery then turned the investigation over to the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch. The case was assigned to Detective Cassandra Mullins on July 17.

The teen told Mullins she had sent multiple naked photos to Zach. The girl said she had told Zach she was 15, "but that did not deter him from wanting to have a relationship with her," the affidavit says. The girl has since turned 16.

The girl told Mullins she and Zach had discussed meeting but never met.

Mullins was able to determine that the photo that was sent to the teen was sent from an iPhone near Hall's address in Danville.

The affidavit says Mullins found other communications between Hall "and other females who appear to be less than 18 years of age."

"Some of those messages contained nude photographs of the females, which they had sent to the suspect email," the affidavit says.

Police have said those girls apparently live in three other states. The investigation is continuing, and additional charges are pending.

Hall is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 6 in Boyle District Court.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305.Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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